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Who Belongs?Race, Resources, and Tribal Citizenship in the Native South$

Mikaëla M. Adams

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190619466

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190619466.001.0001

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Policing Belonging, Protecting Identity

Policing Belonging, Protecting Identity

The Pamunkey Indian Tribe of Virginia

Chapter:
(p.25) 1 Policing Belonging, Protecting Identity
Source:
Who Belongs?
Author(s):

Mikaëla M. Adams

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190619466.003.0002

Abstract and Keywords

The Pamunkeys’ fear of losing control of their state reservation motivated many of their late-nineteenth and twentieth-century tribal citizenship decisions, particularly after white Virginians equated the Pamunkeys’ tribal right to the reservation with their racial identity as “Indian.” To protect their land, the Pamunkeys developed strategies to bolster their Indian identity, while simultaneously distancing themselves from African Americans to avoid classification as “colored.” They also searched for ways to keep the reservation in the hands of core members of the tribe after some Pamunkeys moved elsewhere and intermarried with whites. The tribe developed unique residency rules, gendered definitions of belonging, and a tiered system of tribal citizenship to meet these challenges. The Pamunkey story reveals one way that a tribe used citizenship criteria to preserve its territorial sovereignty and to bolster its political status.

Keywords:   Pamunkey, citizenship, identity, race, Jim Crow, Virginia, reservation, federal recognition

On October 14, 2010, the Pamunkey Indian Tribe of Virginia submitted a petition to the US Department of the Interior for federal recognition as an Indian tribe. After reviewing the application, Director of the Office of Federal Acknowledgment R. Lee Fleming wrote a letter to the tribe’s lawyers that described “obvious deficiencies or significant omissions apparent in the documented petition.” One problem was that the application lacked specific tribal citizenship requirements, which is a key criterion for federal recognition. Although the Pamunkeys claimed that “all current members descend from 40 direct lineal ancestors,” they failed to provide any information other than a statement that “Pamunkey Tribal membership requires sufficient documentation of ancestry back to certain identified Tribe members and a social connection to the Tribe and current Tribal members residing on the Pamunkey Indian Reservation.” If the Pamunkeys did not fully delineate their citizenship requirements and provide other documentation, Fleming warned, their application faced rejection “because of technical problems.”1

The failure of the Pamunkeys to spell out their citizenship criteria for the Office of Federal Acknowledgment did not mean that they lacked an understanding of who belonged to their tribe. Indeed, Pamunkey tribal citizenship had a long history fraught with stressful situations and difficult choices. As a small, state-recognized tribe in racially divided Virginia, the Pamunkeys fought bitter battles to preserve their tribal status in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In this struggle, they marshaled tribal citizenship requirements to bolster their Indian identity and to insist that the Virginia legislature uphold their rights to reservation land. Race became a critical factor to the Pamunkeys as they strove to defend themselves against Jim Crow reclassification as “colored.” The tribe also created a tiered system of tribal citizenship (p.26) based on gender and reservation residency. These distinctions helped ensure that the core Pamunkey community living on the reservation maintained authority over Pamunkey land even as certain community members moved away and married whites. Although their criteria for belonging were not always clear to outsiders, the Pamunkeys had historical reasons for including some and rejecting others from their tribe.

Policing Belonging, Protecting IdentityThe Pamunkey Indian Tribe of Virginia

Figure 1.1 Set aside for the tribe by the colony of Virginia in the seventeenth century, the Pamunkey Indian Reservation consists of 1,200 acres located in a bend of the Pamunkey River in King William County. Map prepared by Christian Adams.

The Pamunkeys inhabited a small tract of land that the colony of Virginia had set aside for them in the seventeenth century. This reservation was part of the larger territory occupied by the Powhatan Confederacy at the time of contact with the English in 1607. White squatters continually made inroads on Pamunkey territory, and a series of cessions reduced the Indians’ land base. Following Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676, the Indians appealed to the colonial legislature to have their lands officially restored. An order of assembly passed in 1677 confirmed the Pamunkeys’ reservation and guaranteed them hunting and fishing rights on Englishmen’s unfenced patented lands. Land sales and cessions continued into the eighteenth century, however, as outsiders pressured the Indians. Finally, in 1748, the Virginia Assembly appointed three white trustees to oversee Pamunkey land sales. This began a long process of (p.27) white oversight of Pamunkey actions.2 By the removal era, the Pamunkeys were an often ignored, but legally entrenched part of Virginia.

Unlike many southern tribes, the Pamunkeys never directly faced the threat of westward removal. Small in numbers in the 1830s, the Pamunkeys seemed inconspicuous and innocuous to white observers. Indeed, many Virginians denied the Pamunkeys were Indian at all since they had adopted so much of the surrounding Anglo culture. Instead, they viewed the Pamunkeys as members of the free non-white social strata in Virginia, “persons of color.” As such, the Indians were not worth the effort and expense of removal.3 The Pamunkeys soon found, however, that white attitudes toward their racial identity were just as threatening to their survival in the South as federal removal policy was to other tribes. Pamunkey efforts to defend their Indian identity and to preserve their tribal land base ultimately had profound effects on their definitions of belonging.

Despite the general indifference Virginians displayed toward the Pamunkeys, some whites in the state did seek the dissolution of the Indians’ land base during the removal years. In 1836, the Pamunkeys heard a rumor that local whites planned to petition the Virginia General Assembly to sell the reservation on the grounds that non-Pamunkeys, including free blacks, also lived there.4 In 1842, Thomas W. S. Gregory, a white Virginian, made good on this threat and circulated a petition for the termination of the Pamunkey reservation. Gregory asserted that “the claims of the Indian no longer exist—his blood has so largely mingled with the negro race as to have obliterated all striking features of Indian extraction.” He argued that the presence of a legally constituted free non-white community put white Virginians in danger and described the reservation as “the haunts of vice, where the worthless and abandoned whiteman may resort and find everything to gratify his depraved appetite; where spirituous liquors are retailed without license; the ready asylum of runaway slaves, and a secure harbor for everyone who wished concealment.”5 He called for the Indians’ immediate expulsion from the state.

The Pamunkeys responded to Gregory’s actions with two counter petitions to the General Assembly. In particular, they refuted the accusation that they had married with free blacks “until their Indian character has vanished.”6 They asserted that they were hardworking and honest people who lived together like a large extended family and took care of each other. Moreover, they insisted, many people on the reservation were fully Indian and others were more than half Indian in ancestry.7 The tribe’s white trustees supported their claims, and the General Assembly rejected Gregory’s petition. The Pamunkey reservation was safe. The experience, however, taught the Pamunkeys that in the future they would have to be careful about their associations with outsiders in order to protect their Indian identity and, by extension, their land rights in Virginia.

(p.28) Although the 1843 petition failed to drive the Pamunkeys from their homes, Virginia whites continued to question their racial identity. After John Brown’s unsuccessful raid at Harpers Ferry in 1859, the state temporarily disarmed the Pamunkeys.8 This move not only hurt Pamunkey hunters economically but also threatened their Indian identity by conflating them with free blacks. When the Pamunkeys protested, the governor of Virginia suggested that officials take an annual census to determine who was entitled to treatment as a “tributary Indian.” The governor added that “if any become one fourth mixed with the Negro race then they may be treated as free negroes or mulattoes.”9 The state never compiled the promised censuses. Like the 1843 petition, however, the governor’s remarks warned the Pamunkeys about the consequences of association with African Americans.

Officially, Virginia recognized the Pamunkeys as an Indian tribe based on colonial-era treaties with them, yet the state’s treatment of them did not foster good feelings. When Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861, a number of Pamunkeys fled to Canada to avoid conscription in the Confederate service. Some reasoned that as long as Virginia declined to treat them as equal citizens, they had no obligation to fight for the state. As Frank Sweat testified to the Southern Claims Commission after the war, “I have some Indian blood in my veins and was not permitted to vote or sit in the jury box. I was but one step from a slave.”10 Other Pamunkeys went further and joined Union forces, serving as soldiers, guides, and seamen.11 They may have thought that a Union victory would bring recognition of their rights in Virginia. Contrary to their expectations, however, the Confederate defeat did not alter the racial attitudes of white Virginians. Instead, the Pamunkeys found themselves subject to even stricter social and racial codes.12

After the Civil War, the Indians’ fears of identity loss grew more pronounced. White Virginians increasingly divided the state’s population into two categories: “white” and “colored.” This system of social and legal classification left little room for Virginia Indians. Uninformed reporters asserted that “their aboriginal blood is so mingled with the imported African that their identity as Indians is almost lost and merged in the negro or mulatto.”13 Such claims disturbed Pamunkeys who feared a repeat of earlier efforts to break up their reservation. Determined to avoid racial as well as tribal extinction in the eyes of whites, the Pamunkeys fought back by refusing the label of “colored,” developing their own ideas about race, and building segregated institutions. These efforts, born out of a desperate need to defend their Indian identity, had a lasting legacy on the way the tribe defined belonging.

Segregation hit Virginia even before the official end of Reconstruction. Churches that had once welcomed parishioners of any color barred blacks and Indians as soon as the Civil War ended. Pamunkeys, most of whom had (p.29) belonged to the Colosse Baptist Church in King William County, found themselves without a religious home.14 Refusing to attend black churches, in 1865 they established a separate place of worship on the reservation “under the trees during the summer, and in the members’ homes in winter.”15 The next year they constructed the Pamunkey Indian Baptist Church.16 The dedication of the first Indian church in Virginia reportedly “was a joyous one for that group of earnest Christian Indians,” one that represented a triumph over the limitations of biracial segregation in the South.17

The tribe permitted only Indian or white ministers to preach at the new church.18 They designed this rule to emphasize that the church was “Indian,” not “colored.” The Pamunkeys also fostered relationships with white Baptists by joining the Dover Baptist Association in Virginia, which was willing to accept them as a separate congregation. The tribe sent delegates to annual meetings of this organization. White members marveled at the “curious looking men” with “real copper” complexions and “long, black and straight” hair who attended the meetings, but did not turn them away.19 At various points, the association even appointed white ministers to serve the tribe.20 By taking an active role in the Dover Baptist Association, the Pamunkeys highlighted their ongoing dedication to their faith and their religious, if not political, equality to whites.

On the reservation, the Pamunkey Indian Baptist Church became a center for community gathering and received “the hearty support of the whole tribe.”21 The church held services every Sunday, which nearly all the Pamunkeys on the reservation attended.22 One Pamunkey woman recalled, “What I remember about church on the reservation is that you didn’t think about whether or not you were going to go. You went to church on Sunday morning because it was something you did with the whole family.” Church attendance was “something that the entire community did together” and “most of the activities in the community were centered on the church.” Children attended Sunday school and adults joined together in singing, preaching, and prayer. The church helped emphasize community belonging and also the specific roles of tribal citizens. For example, Pamunkey men and women sat on different sides of the church aisle, a division that reflected their different responsibilities and gender roles.23 Church membership also reinforced tribal identity by including community members but excluding those whom the Pamunkeys considered racial inferiors. Indeed, observers noted that “the membership of the church and that of the whole tribe [were] almost coextensive.”24 Born out of Virginia’s efforts to segregate “white” from “colored,” the Pamunkey Indian Baptist Church became a strong marker of Pamunkey identity.

Segregated schools had a similar effect. The Pamunkeys refused to send their children to “colored” schools and petitioned the governor of Virginia to (p.30) establish a free, Indian school on their reservation.25 Virginia finally heeded this plea in 1877. The governor stipulated, however, that the Pamunkeys pay school taxes to help support the institution. He also insisted that public support of the reservation school did not entitle the Indians to any other political rights in Virginia. According to white Virginians, the Pamunkeys were not entitled to full state citizenship because of their status as “tributary Indians.” Their land was exempt from taxation, and as they were not subject to the burdens of citizenship, neither did they deserve the privileges.26 The Pamunkeys accepted these terms in order to send their children to school.

Finding a teacher for the reservation school, however, proved problematic. When the state appointed a black teacher to educate Pamunkey children, the Indians sent her back to Richmond.27 They did, however, accept white teachers. In later years, Pamunkey youths also attended Bacone High School in Oklahoma and the Cherokee Boarding School in North Carolina, both designed to serve Indian students.28 Some of these students left the reservation permanently, but others returned to teach Pamunkey children.29 The Pamunkeys provided their own teachers to ensure that there was no question about the status of their school as an “Indian” rather than “colored” institution.30

Over time, the reservation school, like the Pamunkey Indian Baptist Church, became a community focal point and a symbol of Pamunkey identity. Pamunkey children felt welcome there, even when surrounding whites rejected them on account of race. Tribal citizen Louis Steward, who was born in 1916, recalled that he and his siblings had tried to attend a white school in Richmond while their parents worked in the city, but school officials kicked them out on the grounds that they “had too much black blood.” Instead of enrolling in a “colored” school, the children returned to the reservation and attended school there.31 Tribal citizens shared common memories of the small schoolhouse that contributed to their sense of separation from local black and white populations. Proud of their separate education system, Pamunkey parents were distressed when Virginia integrated schools in the 1960s.32 While it lasted, the school provided the Pamunkeys with an institutional marker of their distinct ethnic identity.33

In addition to establishing their own segregated institutions, the Pamunkeys defended themselves against outside assumptions about their racial identity. When a white neighbor taunted a Pamunkey man about being a “mulatto” in 1889, for example, the Indian took the matter to court and proved “that he had no negro blood in his veins.”34 In a similar case in 1904, the Pamunkey chief traveled to Richmond to consult a lawyer to seek “damages against a white man of wealth … who is alleged to have said on a train that the tribe was composed of ‘half-niggers.’ ”35 In addition to suing people who labeled them black, (p.31) Pamunkeys who visited Virginia cities refused to use services designated as “colored.” In West Point, for example, Pamunkeys annoyed local whites by insisting on patronizing white barbershops.36 Pamunkeys refused to accept the racial categorization to which whites assigned them. Instead they continually challenged Virginia color codes to preserve their Indian identity.

The Pamunkeys fought one of their most successful battles against Jim Crow over railroad coaches. In 1855, the Richmond and York River Railroad had run a track through part of the reservation. The Pamunkeys resented this action because the company failed to compensate them for the land.37 Nevertheless, the Indians became frequent railroad customers, taking the train into the state capital to work and to purchase supplies. In July 1900, however, railroad companies began complying with a new Virginia law that demanded the segregation of railroad coaches by race.38 The Pamunkeys decried the interpretation of the law, which compelled them to ride in Jim Crow coaches.39 According to a journalist, the “order of the company requiring the red men to go into coaches provided for colored people has made them howling mad.”40 Their anger only increased after train conductors physically ejected Pamunkey travelers from white coaches.41 The Indians refused to accept the law and planned ways to combat it.

The first effort of the Pamunkeys to defeat the new law took place in the King William County court. Initially, the court ruled against their suit and insisted they belonged in the “colored” coaches.42 Not easily dissuaded, the Pamunkeys held a tribal meeting a few days later and appointed a committee to appeal directly to the Southern Railroad Company. They told company officials that they had been “treated with indignity,” and they protested that “some of the most aristocratic families” in Virginia claimed descent from Pocahontas and other historic Natives, while maintaining a white racial identity.43 They argued that if these whites traveled in white coaches, Pamunkeys should, too. Their persistent assertion of their rights finally captured the attention of the superintendent of the Richmond Division of the Southern Railroad.44 In late August, he forwarded a telegram to the Pamunkey chief: “Please notify Chief Dennis, of the Pamunkey Indian tribe, that the matter is all right now in regard to riding in cars with the whites.”45 A small concession on the part of the railroad company, this decision represented a major victory for the Pamunkeys. Through their refusal to accept classification as “colored,” the Indians overcame Virginia’s Jim Crow conveyance codes and forced whites to recognize their Indian identity.

Following their fight to ride in white coaches, the tribe began issuing official certificates of tribal citizenship. These passports clearly identified the Pamunkeys as Indian, “to prevent annoyance when traveling.”46 If train conductors questioned their right to board white coaches, the Pamunkeys (p.32) simply pulled out their certificates. The Pamunkeys hoped that official documents would cement their identity as Indian in the eyes of white Virginians. Nevertheless, they knew that the battle against racial reclassification was far from over. Whites recognized their rights as Indians only so long as they maintained distance from blacks.

Although the Pamunkeys conceded that whites were their equals—and hoped that whites recognized them as such as well—they considered “blacks far beneath their social level.”47 Visitors to the reservation often commented on the Pamunkeys’ “race pride.”48 To showcase the perceived differences in their positions, Pamunkeys hired local African Americans to work as farm laborers on the reservation.49 These men and women farmed Pamunkey land, but they did not socialize with their employers. By overseeing black laborers, the Pamunkeys established not only that they were above such menial work but also that they belonged to a different class of people than African Americans.

Above all, Pamunkeys decried intermarriage between tribal citizens and African Americans. James Mooney, an ethnographer who visited the tribe in the late nineteenth century, explained that their “one great dread is that their wasted numbers may lose their identity by absorption in the black race.”50 To prevent the ethnic extinction predicted for them by many Virginia whites, the Pamunkeys developed strict codes to limit relationships between tribal citizens and black people. They prohibited social contact with African Americans and refused “to allow marriages or even visiting between the young people.”51 The tribal council formalized this position in its 1886 reservation laws. The very first resolution stated that “No member of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe shall intermarry with anny [sic] Nation except White or Indian under penalty of forfeiting their rights in Town.”52

For Pamunkeys who dared marry African Americans, the tribe’s reaction was draconian. Family members turned their backs on kin because of race. In the 1970s, anthropologist Helen C. Rountree met a phenotypically black man who claimed Pamunkey ancestry. Jesse L. S. Pendleton explained that his Pamunkey grandmother, Roxanna Miles, had married a black boat captain. Shunned by the Indian community, the couple moved to Newport News and raised a family. As a child, Pendleton visited the reservation a few times with his grandmother, but he developed the impression that tribal citizens were “clannish and hostile to outsiders.” Although Miles tried to maintain contact with her Pamunkey relatives, the tribe rejected her children and grandchildren on account of their race. This rebuff led to bitter feelings. Pendleton claimed that “There wasn’t much of anybody [his grandmother] didn’t hate.” Indeed, Miles may have suffered self-hatred as well. Pendleton—who was raised primarily by his grandmother—grew up ashamed of “being colored,” an attitude he may have acquired from Miles.53

(p.33) According to some reports, the Pamunkeys took their efforts to exclude blacks from tribal citizenship even further. A journalist asserted in 1902 that the Pamunkeys had “excluded from membership in their tribe a large number of those who showed plainly the marks of negro ancestry.”54 Another reporter described a tribal committee set up in the late 1880s “to exclude from their reservation certain black sheep who have crept into their fold.” Stipulating that tribal citizens prove at least one-fourth Indian ancestry, this committee denied tribal rights to those who could not.55 The question of black ancestry in the tribe became a deeply sensitive issue for the Pamunkeys. They refused to talk about the subject with outsiders, and they even avoided the topic among themselves.56 As late as the 1970s, the Pamunkeys insisted that researchers recognize their prolonged efforts “to maintain their blood lines.”57

Pamunkeys not only rejected relationships with African Americans, but they also tried to bolster their Indian identity through intermarriage with people from other Native communities. By the late nineteenth century, most members of the small tribe were closely related to every other person on the reservation.58 This tight network of kin made finding suitable marriage partners within the tribe difficult.59 Tribal citizens understood the dangers of incest, but they preferred Indian spouses to white or black partners. They hoped that marriage with Indians from other tribes would “restore the blood of their tribe and save themselves from extinction.”60 Such marriages also promised to highlight their Indian identity to Virginia whites.

Historically, Pamunkeys occasionally engaged in relationships with Indians outside of Virginia. In the mid-nineteenth century, for example, a Pamunkey man named John Mush (or Marsh) married a Catawba woman and went to live with his wife’s tribe in South Carolina. The couple’s children also married Catawbas.61 Members of this family visited their Pamunkey relatives on several occasions. In the late 1880s, the Catawba family of Ep Harris, Margaret Harris, and their daughter, Maggie, journeyed to Virginia and lived among the Pamunkeys for two years.62 Tuscarora Indians from North Carolina, like Peter Cussic, also made homes among the Pamunkeys.63 The Pamunkeys were glad to have such individuals live with them because they provided the community with potential spouses.64 Indeed, some Pamunkey men urged visiting Indian women to marry them. A journalist reported in 1900 that the reservation’s schoolteacher, a woman who claimed to have Indian ancestry, finally resigned after she grew tired of the persistent efforts of Pamunkey men, including the chief, to court her.65

To increase the number of unions with citizens of other tribes in the late nineteenth century, Pamunkey leaders devised plans to attract non-Virginia Indians to the state. The tribal council entered into negotiations with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina, for example, “to procure (p.34) brides for their unmarried sons and husbands for their unmarried daughters.” Southern newspapers romanticized these efforts, claiming that “The male Pamunkeys understand the eastern Cherokee women to be exceptionally pretty, modest and sensible, and the female Pamunkeys regard the eastern Cherokee braves as handsome, loyal and industrious, calculated to make model husbands.” Whether or not this was the case, the Pamunkeys certainly preferred Cherokees to local non-Indians as partners. The tribal council even sent Pamunkey emissaries to North Carolina to visit Cherokee Chief Nimrod J. Smith. They hoped that a personal appeal might “bring the negotiations to a favorable conclusion.”66

In addition to courting the Cherokees, the Pamunkey tribal council sent a representative to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. William Terrill Bradby traveled to Richmond before his trip to obtain from the governor a certificate that attested to the tribe’s ownership of reservation land. Bradby hoped that the promise of land would lure western Indians to Virginia as marriage partners for Pamunkeys.67 Once in Chicago, Bradby introduced himself to the head of the ethnological department of the World’s Fair and became an honorary assistant in the department.68 He met Indians from western tribes at the exposition and tried to convince them “to join the Pamunkeys in an effort to keep the blood lines purely aboriginal.”69

Pamunkey efforts to draw Cherokees and western Indians to Virginia ultimately failed, but their hard work was not wasted. Although they did not bring home spouses, their search for Native husbands and wives attracted attention from white reporters and lawmakers. Indeed, the Pamunkeys made sure this was the case. Prior to their visits to North Carolina and Chicago, they sent emissaries to the state governor in Richmond, purportedly to receive “valuable suggestions from him as to the best manner” of securing “the contemplated alliance[s]‌.” The governor may not have known how to help them find partners, but the delegations left a strong impression that the Indians were doing everything in their power to restore “the good Pamunkey breed again.” White reporters from the Atlanta Constitution and the Washington Post relished the story, comparing the Pamunkey case to “that of the primitive Romans and the Sabines” and rooting for the Indians to find spouses.70 This publicity drew attention to the Pamunkeys’ assertion of Indian identity. Thus, even without non-Virginia Indian spouses, the Pamunkeys reinforced white perceptions of their status as Indian.

The Pamunkeys were more successful at arranging marriages with Indians from other Virginia tribes. The Pamunkeys had a long history of interaction with the Mattaponis and Chickahominies in particular, and the tribe raised no objection to tribal citizens marrying within these groups.71 At the turn of the century, several Pamunkeys resided among the Chickahominies in Charles (p.35) City and New Kent Counties and “both bands are much intermarried.”72 The bonds of kinship were so firm between the Pamunkeys and the Mattaponis—who lived on a reservation a mere ten miles from the Pamunkeys—that for many years the two groups acted politically as one tribe. Over time, however, differences between the tribes separated them into distinct entities.

Policing Belonging, Protecting IdentityThe Pamunkey Indian Tribe of Virginia

Figure 1.2 William Terrill Bradby (pictured) traveled to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago to seek western Indian spouses for the Pamunkeys. Although his overtures failed, he helped draw media attention to the Pamunkeys’ efforts to maintain a racially “Indian” identity in Jim Crow Virginia.

Photographer: De Lancey W. Gill. Date: 1899. Courtesy of the National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution (BAE GN 00893 06197600).

The Mattaponis lived on a seventy-acre reservation along the Mattaponi River.73 Like the Pamunkeys, they had established early treaty relationships (p.36) with the colony of Virginia that acknowledged their presence and affirmed their rights to their reservation land. At one point their reservation was connected to the Pamunkey reservation by a small strip of land; however, oral tradition suggests that whites tricked the Indians into selling this tract for a barrel of rum sometime before the nineteenth century.74 By the late nineteenth century, the forty or so Mattaponis who resided on the reservation lived “principally from lumbering and farming.” Unlike the Pamunkeys, they had “no chief or council.” Instead they combined their political affairs with those of the Pamunkeys.75 Anthropologists who visited the two tribes in the early twentieth century observed “no differences in community life” between them and noted that extensive intermarriages had “completely merged [the Pamunkeys and Mattaponis] in blood.”76

Despite external similarities, Pamunkeys and Mattaponis made internal distinctions between their citizens. Although formally the tribes shared a single political organization, in practice the Mattaponis recognized their own headmen. The ten miles between the tribes created different community needs and goals, which grew more pronounced after the first ethnographers visited the tribes in the late nineteenth century. Rountree has suggested that Mattaponis may not have agreed with some of the activism that researchers inspired among the Pamunkeys.77 They may have distanced themselves from Pamunkey cultural revitalization projects and the tribe’s efforts to project a “pure” Indian identity to outsiders.

Another possibility is that racial tensions led to a split in the political organization of the tribes. Ethnographer James Mooney reported that Mattaponis had “more negro than Indian blood in them,” but declared that Pamunkeys were “tolerably pure from mixture with other colors.”78 If he made similar observations to the Indians, the Pamunkeys may have felt it expedient to separate themselves politically from individuals with perceived black ancestry. Whatever the cause, the Mattaponi and Pamunkey tribes officially split in 1894. That year, the Virginia General Assembly appointed white trustees for the Mattaponis and the tribe wrote its own reservation laws.79 From that point on, the Indians made distinctions between Mattaponi and Pamunkey tribal citizens.

Despite perceived racial differences between the tribes, the Mattaponis established taboos against intermarriage between Indians and blacks that were just as strict as those of their Pamunkey neighbors. Rountree reported in the 1970s that “No mixed couple would be allowed to live on the reservation; the tribe would disown them.”80 In recognition of Mattaponi efforts to maintain racial distance from blacks, Pamunkeys continued to marry Mattaponis despite the political separation of the tribes. Social and cultural ties between the tribes continued even after they legally divided their political citizenship.

(p.37) The Pamunkeys remained a particularly vibrant Indian community in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Virginia, a fact that impressed researchers. When Mooney visited them in the 1890s, he discovered that they “have maintained their organization as a tribe under colonial and state government, and have kept up more of the Indian form and tradition than any of the [other Virginia tribes].”81 The Pamunkeys were proud of their relationship with the state, and the tribal council kept copies of their treaties with Virginia, which the councilmen showed to reservation visitors.82 The state held their reservation land “in trust for their benefit” and also promised tribal citizens rights to hunting, fishing, and gathering on surrounding public lands.83 Although Virginia did not pay the tribe annuities, it exempted tribal citizens from state taxes.84 The governor appointed white trustees to manage external tribal affairs, and every four years the Indians elected a chief and headmen to deal with internal issues.85 To vote, eligible male citizens over eighteen years old deposited either a grain of corn or a bean, each representing one of two candidates, in a ballot box, and the man with the most votes won.86 In later years, the Pamunkey tribal council also chose the tribe’s white trustees. Annual picnics bought men of the tribe and the white trustees together, where they renewed their alliance.87

Pamunkey land consisted of a 1,200-acre reservation located in a bend of the Pamunkey River in King William County. Much of this territory was boggy swampland and underbrush, but in the northern area the Indians held around 300 acres suitable for homes and gardens. By the 1890s, the arable land was reportedly “in a good state of cultivation.”88 The Indians lived in weather-boarded, frame homes with two to four rooms.89 They grew corn, potatoes, and had a few fruit trees.90 Their preferred modes of subsistence, however, were hunting and fishing. Deer and wild turkey abounded on the reservation, and Pamunkey fishermen also took “large quantities of herring and shad by seine, according to the season, with ducks, reedbirds, and an occasional sturgeon.”91 Indeed, the Pamunkeys valued hunting and fishing so much that they refused “to vote upon selling or burning the woods on their reservation because this would destroy the game.”92 Both activities were communal endeavors. All able-bodied men joined in the annual tribute drive, which provided game to the Virginia governor in lieu of state taxes.93 Fishermen also worked together, spending an average of four hours a day in their boats from early spring to fall.94 To supplement their incomes, the Indians sold their fish, game, furs, and surplus farm products in Richmond and Baltimore.95 By the late nineteenth century, the reservation had both a post office and a railroad station, which helped Pamunkey hunters and fishermen bring their products to market.96 The reservation provided the Indians with their livelihoods, and reservation life contributed to the Pamunkeys’ sense of tribal identity.

(p.38) The Pamunkeys developed a unique system of land use that incorporated notions of communal ownership and private tenure. As a whole, the reservation belonged to the tribe, not to individual tribal citizens. This communal ownership was reinforced by state law: the tribe could not legally alienate or divide the land unless the Virginia legislature approved.97 Pamunkey families claimed parcels of land, however, where they built homes and planted gardens.98 Although tribal citizens bought and sold houses among themselves, land was not heritable: each new generation had to present a land request to the tribal council and have its choice accepted.99 In addition to the home plots, the tribe divided marshland into six hunting territories bid on annually by individual tribal citizens.100 The highest bidder rented the land for the duration of the year, and no other tribal citizen had the right to hunt on the plot without permission. In later years, some Pamunkeys sublet their plots to white sportsmen from Richmond, especially if they were too old to hunt themselves.101 Tribal citizens continued to hunt on these sublet lands, however, while the lessees were away.102 Rental fees paid by tribal citizens went to the tribal treasury and were used to maintain the reservation roads and provide other tribal services. Access to tribal lands was a privilege of tribal citizenship.

The Pamunkeys had lost their native language by the mid-nineteenth century, yet they were “by no means culturally barren.”103 Mooney reported that middle-aged citizens of the tribe remembered their parents having conversational knowledge of the old language half a century before, and Pamunkeys continued to pass down “elements of folk-belief, medicine lore, local legend and social practices” even after use of the Pamunkey language faded.104 Pamunkey parents taught their children about the glory days of the Powhatan Confederacy: Opechancanough, the militant brother of Powhatan, was their hero.105 They boasted that they were the descendants of Powhatan’s warriors and they loved “to tell how bravely and stubbornly their forefathers resisted the encroachments of the whites.”106 They also told more recent tales of resistance. A favorite story was that of William Terrill Bradby’s escape from Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. According to the tale, the soldiers rounded up Pamunkey men who refused to fight and marched them to Richmond for execution. Along the way, Bradby outmaneuvered his captors by pretending he had lost a boot. As the Confederates looked for the shoe, Bradby ran into the woods. Although the soldiers fired at him, he evaded capture by using his superior knowledge of the landscape. After swimming across a creek, Bradby hid in a railroad culvert until he heard that the governor had pardoned the Pamunkey men. The Pamunkeys proudly named his hiding place “Terrill’s Culvert.”107 Such stories reminded the Pamunkeys of their persistent struggle for survival and fostered a sense of community pride in their shared history.

(p.39) Pamunkey children grew up with an intimate knowledge of tribal land. From an early age, they learned to distinguish such things as different types of mud beds in the marshlands along the river. Fishermen made reference to “woods mud,” “marsh mud,” “floaty-bed mud,” and “river mud,” and boys acquired “expertness in traversing these dangerous endroits … as soon as they learned to walk.” The Indians also took note of natural signals like the hoots of the barred owl, which called out the tides to remind the fishermen to tend to their nets. Pamunkeys believed that blooming field pansies announced the run of shad in late March. For this reason, they called these pansies “shad flowers.” Although they were Baptists, they revered the Pamunkey River as “old man river” and “folk-lore pil[ed] up around the seeking of fish.”108 Pamunkeys also retained healing knowledge that linked them to their land. Although they sent for white doctors if medical cases grew serious, they treated minor illnesses with teas made from local roots and herbs.109

Although for the most part, Pamunkeys dressed like local whites, the Indians used some distinctive elements of clothing.110 John Garland Pollard, who visited the tribe as part of a Bureau of American Ethnology investigation in the early 1890s, reported that the Pamunkeys had “an inclination to the excessive use of gaudy colors in their attire.”111 Ethnographers were even more intrigued by the Pamunkey tradition of weaving turkey feathers to create elaborate mantles. Mattaponi and Pamunkey informants told researchers about earlier times when women made “capes so covered with turkey-feathers as to be warm and durable as well as beautiful.” Mothers passed down this cultural knowledge to their daughters. By the 1920s, anthropologist Frank G. Speck described Margaret Adams, “the oldest woman at Pamunkey town,” as the tribe’s finest weaver of turkey feather garments.112 Men and women also made jewelry to adorn their outfits. Pamunkey women did beadwork, which was time-consuming but provided them with distinctive decorations both to wear and to sell.113 Chief Paul Miles collected animal bones and combined them with baked clay beads to create “a pretty bauble to add to his Indian costume, perhaps to sell to some visitor as a souvenir.”114 Unique ornaments and clothing helped to mark the Pamunkeys’ Indian identity and to separate them from outsiders.

The Pamunkeys were also skilled pottery-makers. In oral interviews, Pamunkeys recalled that they had made pottery on the reservation “ever since we can remember.” Primarily a female pursuit, women taught their daughters how to collect and mold clay.115 They used white clay found about six feet beneath the surface of the soil in certain areas of the reservation and passed down knowledge of the location of clay mines from one generation to the next. In the 1940s, an elderly Pamunkey woman asserted that her grandmother, born around 1796, collected clay from the same mine she used. (p.40) Any tribal citizen could “use the clay from private property without (being guilty of) trespassing,” and no one owned the land of the reservation’s main clay mine.116 To emphasize the common ownership of the tribe’s natural resources, the opening of a clay mine was a community affair: “the whole tribe, men, women, and children, were present, and each family took home a share of the clay.”117

Policing Belonging, Protecting IdentityThe Pamunkey Indian Tribe of Virginia

Figure 1.3 Although for the most part Pamunkeys dressed like their white neighbors, they used some distinctive decorative pieces. In this photograph, Theodora Octavia Dennis Cook donned a turkey-feather mantle made by Margaret Adams, whom anthropologist Frank G. Speck described as the tribe’s finest weaver of turkey-feather garments.

Photographer: Frank G. Speck. Date: 1919. Courtesy of the National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution (SPC Se Powhatan Confederacy Pamunkey BAE 1-8 01793000).

(p.41) Once they collected the clay, Pamunkey women dried it, beat it, passed it through a sieve, and pounded it in a mortar. They added burned freshwater mussels, “flesh as well as shells,” to the prepared clay to serve as temper, and then saturated the mixture with water. Once kneaded, the “substance is then shaped with a mussel shell to the shape of the article desired and placed in the sun to dry.” Potters rubbed dried pieces with a stone to produce a gloss, heated them with a slow fire, and finally burned them in a kiln.118 Although Pamunkey artists may have drawn on the techniques of visiting Catawba potters and borrowed some European pottery forms, the articles they produced were “tempered and shaped by native methods.”119 In particular, their use of mussels connected the pottery to the Pamunkeys’ livelihood as fishermen, just as the clay connected them to the land.

The Pamunkeys made pottery for their own use and to sell to white neighbors, but by the end of the nineteenth century, the rise of cheap, manufactured earthenware began undercutting this craft and only a few elderly Pamunkeys continued to build pots.120 Scholarly interest in Pamunkey pottery, however, helped revive the tradition.121 In the early twentieth century, potters began collecting shells along the river to make fresh designs on their wares. Pocahontas Cook, for example, decorated her jars by imprinting “the contour of such mollusks upon the surface in serial order.” Other Indians used fossilized shark teeth to create comb-like indentations on clay pipe stems. Drawing inspiration from the river that sustained them, Pamunkey potters cut “criss-cross marks upon the wooden paddle used to ornament the surface of the pot,” which reflected the cross-hatched patterns of shad nets.122 Like their distinctive jewelry and turkey-feather clothing, Pamunkey pottery became a cultural symbol that the Indians used to showcase their identity to outsiders.

Ethnographic interest in Pamunkey crafts inspired Virginia state legislators to take notice of tribal art as well. In 1932, the state began an educational program to revive and commercialize native arts and crafts.123 Legislators hoped the program would relieve some of the poverty on the reservation caused by the Great Depression. When members of the State Board of Education asked the Pamunkeys what sort of program they thought would be most useful, tribal councilmen suggested a pottery school.124 The Pamunkeys eagerly participated in the program and welcomed a pottery instructor who arrived on the reservation to teach the Indians new techniques. The methods differed from traditional practices and included the use of commercial glazes and a modern kiln. The changes, however, allowed Pamunkey potters to experiment with styles and to produce a greater supply of pieces to sell to tourists.125 The pottery school also provided a social environment for Pamunkey women. Anthropologist Theodore Stern reported that “At the school, they relax at their work and talk: for rarely does an operation require such concentration (p.42) that the potter cannot converse at the same time.”126 In this way, the pottery school helped strengthen community bonds in much the same way that clay mine openings had brought Pamunkey people together. Pottery, like distinctive dress, helped Pamunkeys delineate who was part of their community.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Pamunkeys exploited a growing public interest in the past by embracing the story of Pocahontas and John Smith. White Virginians were proud of this account because it rivaled the one of the Pilgrims at Plymouth and gave the South a place in white America’s founding. Many white Virginians claimed descent from Pocahontas, which gave them prestige as members of one of the first families of Virginia. The Pamunkeys created their own dramatic reenactment of the tale, and several prominent tribal councilmen starred in the production.127 They published fliers in 1898 that announced their performance of a “Green Corn Dance, Pamunkey Indian Marriage, Snake Dance by Deerfoot, War Dance, [and] Capture of Capt. John Smith and the saving of his life by Pocahontas.”128 In 1899, the Pamunkeys sent a delegation to Richmond to ask the governor to fund their production company on a trip to the Paris Exposition, where they hoped to perform for an international audience.129 Although they never made it to Paris, the Pamunkeys continued to display their history for local white spectators. In 1935, the State Board of Education helped sponsor a pageant that included twenty-five Pamunkey actors from the reservation. The play reenacted “the meeting of their tribesmen with the men of Capt. John Smith and subsequent events in the relationships between whites and Indians.”130 Pamunkeys saw plays and pageants as a way to make their Indian identity and long history in Virginia visible to white audiences.

The Pamunkeys also increased their political visibility during these years by making elaborate productions out of their annual visits to the state governor in Richmond. The tribe had paid symbolic annual tribute to the governor since the seventeenth century, but in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries they made this gesture more public and drew the attention of reporters.131 In 1907, for example, tribal leaders carried into the city a freshly killed deer “swung on a sapling cut on the reservation.” Chief G. M. Cook used the spectacle as an opportunity to make a public speech in which he proclaimed that “the Virginia Governor had always been considerate of his people and that the red men desired to express their good will in the only way open to them.”132 With these words, Cook not only affirmed the state’s relationship with the tribe but also showcased the Pamunkeys’ cultural persistence as hunters. The following year, the Pamunkeys’ visit coincided with Thanksgiving, and a delegation carried to Richmond “half a dozen wild turkeys and a saddle of venison.”133 By providing the governor with his Thanksgiving dinner, the Pamunkeys drew on depictions of the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving to (p.43) express both their Indian identity and their long-lasting friendship with white Americans.

Policing Belonging, Protecting IdentityThe Pamunkey Indian Tribe of Virginia

Figure 1.4 Since the seventeenth century, the Pamunkeys had paid symbolic annual tribute of game to the governor of Virginia in lieu of state taxes. These visits became elaborate productions in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as the Pamunkeys strove to demonstrate their Indian identity for white audiences.

Date: c. 1926–1930. Courtesy of the Cook Collection, Valentine Richmond History Center (image no. 1377).

Pamunkey visibility drew further attention from researchers, but with mixed results. James Mooney demonstrated that the Pamunkeys were not on the verge of extinction by publishing a list of thirty-nine Pamunkey heads of households that he compiled in 1901. This census included Pamunkeys on the reservation as well as a few who had migrated elsewhere, indicated their marriage partners and the number of children in their families, and noted which Pamunkeys had married Mattaponi, other Indian, or white spouses. Most tribal citizens, Mooney showed, married other Pamunkeys. He recorded just three white wives, one Mattaponi wife, and one “alien” husband. Although he did not name married women or minors, he enumerated them, bringing the Pamunkey population up to 146 individuals.134 According to Mooney, he compiled the census “from information furnished in conference by the principal men of each band, and [the census] may therefore be considered as an official (p.44) statement of their membership as recognized by themselves.”135 Beginning in the early twentieth century, the Pamunkey tribal council also began creating “voter lists” of male tribal citizens with voting privileges on the reservation. Like Mooney’s census, these lists did not name Pamunkey women and minor children, but they provided further evidence of the political existence of the tribe.136

Anthropologist Frank G. Speck, who visited the tribe in the 1920s, addressed the issue of Pamunkey intermarriage. Combating local stereotypes about the Pamunkeys’ supposed loss of Indian identity, he asserted that elimination of the tribe on the ground of “there being no longer pure-blood Indians among them … would involve a maze of controversy, for it would mean that many existing Indians groups all over North, Central, and South America, maintaining active tribal tradition, even government, would be consigned to the anomaly of classification as ‘whites’ or ‘colored people.’ ”137 In the view of researchers like Mooney and Speck, the Pamunkeys were just as “Indian” as any other tribe.

Unfortunately for Virginia Indians, the work of ethnographers and anthropologists as well as the cultural revitalization efforts of tribes like the Pamunkeys brought unwelcome attention. White Virginians uncomfortable with the idea of an anomalous “third race” in the state lashed out at the claims of researchers. Anthropological work on Virginia tribes particularly riled the head of Virginia’s Bureau of Vital Statistics, Walter Ashby Plecker.138 Plecker staunchly believed that only two races existed in Virginia: “white” and “colored.” As a eugenicist, he held that “The worst forms of undesirables born amongst us are those when parents are of different races” and he argued that “the intermarriage of the white race with mixed stock must be made impossible.”139 Plecker assumed that anyone asserting Indian identity was in fact attempting to “pass” as white in order to intermarry with whites, and thus saw Indianness as a dangerous way station between blackness and whiteness.140 Plecker made it his mission to prove all people in Virginia who claimed to be Indians were actually the descendants of African Americans.141 He banned Frank G. Speck’s 1928 Chapters on the Ethnology of the Powhatan Tribes of Virginia and looked for ways to legally destroy the Indian identity of Virginia Natives.142

Plecker bolstered his efforts with state laws. On March 8, 1924, the Virginia legislature passed the Act to Preserve Racial Integrity, which aimed to identify so-called “near white” people who had taken advantage of segregated white services despite distant black ancestry. White Virginians worried that these individuals contaminated the supposedly pure racial stock of whites in the state through their proximity in schools and other public institutions, as well as through instances of intermarriage. Although many of the people targeted (p.45) were “scarcely distinguishable as colored,” the new law decreed that even one drop of African “blood” made them black. The law defined white people as those “with no trace of the blood of another race, except that a person with one-sixteenth of the American Indian, if there is no other race mixture, may be classed as white,” an exception that accommodated prominent white Virginians who claimed descent from Pocahontas. The act instructed clerks of court to investigate the racial claims of those requesting marriage licenses and made it a felony “for any person willfully or knowingly to make a registration certificate false as to color or race.” Violators of the law faced a year in prison.143 Plecker believed that the Virginia Racial Integrity Act “definitely places upon the Bureau of Vital Statistics the responsibility of correctly classifying racially the population of the State in vital statistics records.”144

Policing Belonging, Protecting IdentityThe Pamunkey Indian Tribe of Virginia

Figure 1.5 Due to anti-miscegenation laws that restricted marriages with whites and fears of racial reclassification that discouraged them from marrying blacks, most Pamunkeys married other Pamunkeys. In this photograph, Pamunkey Chief George Major Cook posed with his Pamunkey wife, Theodora Octavia Dennis Cook, and their children.

Photographer: De Lancey W. Gill. Date: 1899. Courtesy of the National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution (BAE GN 00880 06196100).

An act unanimously passed by the Virginia Legislature in 1930 refined the Racial Integrity Act. Designed to protect unsuspecting “pure” white children from contact with “white children of mixed blood” in schools, it (p.46) classed “anyone with any ascertainable degree of negro blood … as a colored person.”145 The act made an exception, however, for citizens of the Pamunkey and Mattaponi tribes. Individuals “with one-fourth or more Indian blood and less than one-sixteenth negro blood” could be classed as Indian rather than as “colored” as long as they lived on their reservations.146 The act also insisted that Indians promise “to marry only with others of the same racial and tribal classification.”147 These exceptions placated tribal citizens, who had declared that they would rather “be banished to the wilds of Siberia” than to “submit to a loathsome, humiliating Negroid classification.”148 The act placed new legal strictures on notions of tribal belonging, however, by limiting the amount of both black and white ancestry tribal citizens could possess in order to have rights as Indians on the reservations. It also set a geographical boundary to recognized Pamunkey and Mattaponi identity. Outsiders’ racial definitions of Indian identity increasingly affected how reservation Virginia Indians thought about tribal citizenship.

The new state law did not exempt Pamunkeys and Mattaponis from Plecker’s attacks. He maintained that these groups had always been classified as “free negroes” in historical records, and he described the amendment to the act that recognized the Indian identity of the Pamunkeys and Mattaponis as “jocular.” Although forced to comply with the law, Plecker declared that “When they leave the reservation, they take their proper classification as colored.”149 He made sure that Indians could not attend white schools and he warned white hospitals not to treat Indian patients. He even provided hospital staff “with lists of names including all native Indians” so they would know whom to turn away.150 In a 1924 health bulletin, Plecker insisted that “the term ‘Indian’ will no longer be accepted” on birth certificates, except for those of “known pure Indian blood, or those mixed with white.”151 He did not believe any such people lived in the state. If midwives challenged him, he responded with threats. In a letter to midwife Mary F. Adkins in 1942, for example, Plecker warned that if she failed “to make out a correct certificate, giving the race of both parents as colored,” “it may become necessary to revoke your permit and advertise you to the midwives, local registrars, and others … as being no longer permitted to practice midwifery.”152 Plecker informed another midwife, Martha V. Wood, that “giving the wrong color in registering a birth certificate is a penitentiary offense.”153 Plecker even went so far as to post notices on the backs of previously issued “Indian” birth certificates that insisted that the bearer was actually black.154 In Plecker’s view, there were “no descendants of Virginia Indians claiming or reported to be Indians who are unmixed with negro blood.”155

To legitimize his work of racial reclassification, Plecker employed a genealogist to trace “practically all of the families of our so-called ‘Indian’ groups back to the 1830 U.S. Census.” This census had listed “free negroes” and (p.47) Plecker assumed that all of these individuals were black. He did not take into account that nineteenth-century census takers often listed Indians in this category as well. Plecker was proud of the Bureau’s efforts to rat out supposed pseudo-Indians through genealogy. He bragged in a 1943 letter that “Hitler’s genealogical study of the Jews is not more complete.”156 This statement was particularly shocking considering the recent entry of the United States into the Second World War.

Virginia Indians ran into new racial classification issues when America went to war in late 1941. The military segregated servicemen into “white” and “colored” units, and the State Headquarters for Selective Service in Richmond directed local boards to delay registering Indians until they could make “the proper determination of classification.” Although Indians supposedly received classification as white, any rumor of black ancestry was enough to record them as “colored.” The boards individually reviewed the cases of more than 170 individuals.157 Plecker weighed in on the issue and insisted that Virginia classify as “negro” all Indians entering military services in the state.158

Although they wanted to fight for the United States, Indian servicemen protested attempts to reclassify them. In July 1942, the Pamunkeys sent a petition to the state governor expressing their distress. They declared that their “whole pride of living is in our Tribe, and its recognition by our great Commonwealth,” and asked the governor, “is our pride and happiness to be made a casualty of this war?”159 When the state failed to protect their Indian status in the armed forces, some Indians preferred prison to enrollment as “colored.” In 1943, a Virginia judge sentenced two Indian men to two years in jail after they refused to enroll with the draft board other than as Indian.160 Advocates for Virginia Indians wrote to the commissioner of Indian affairs and complained that Plecker’s efforts were “a real injustice to many Indians who have worked and sacrificed over many years to maintain their recognition of status.”161 Pamunkeys and other Virginia Indians beseeched the Office of Indian Affairs to help them in their battle against reclassification.

As a state-recognized tribe, the Pamunkeys had never established a treaty relationship with the federal government. This meant that, although they maintained a political tradition and held reservation lands, the federal government did not officially recognize their tribal status. Allies of the Pamunkeys thought that if the tribe secured federal recognition, they would be better equipped to defend themselves against Plecker’s attacks and to protect their resources. When Commissioner of Indian Affairs John Collier implemented the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) in 1934, for example, white allies of the tribe wrote to the Indian Office to ask whether the federal government could help the Pamunkeys buy more land.162 Assistant Commissioner of Indian Affairs William Zimmerman was not encouraging. He did not think it fair “to (p.48) divert any funds which could be used for the benefit of Indians who are now and who have been for generations wards of the Federal Government” to aid state tribes like the Pamunkeys.163 Although under the terms of the act citizens of unrecognized tribes could receive federal benefits if they proved that they were “one-half or more Indian blood,” Zimmerman wrote that “even if it should be determined that these Indians are eligible, in accordance with this provision, I seriously question the advisability of Federal intervention in the affairs of this group.”164 The Pamunkeys remained unrecognized.

Nonetheless, John Collier made personal efforts to help the tribe. After receiving a number of appeals from Virginia Indians, the commissioner confronted Plecker directly. In a series of letters, Collier questioned the validity of the Bureau of Vital Statistics’ use of genealogical records and census listings to determine the racial identities of Native Virginians. Collier pointed out that these methods were “known to be susceptible to a high degree of error” and argued that “Ethnological students of Virginia Indians are generally of the opinion that the physical features of these groups incline more to the Indian than to the negro or white.” The commissioner asserted that it seemed “grossly unfair to classify as negroes persons who are obviously more Indian than anything else even if there are negroid characteristics present.” He asked Plecker to develop “a more realistic definition of an Indian” that did not simply presume “colored” identity based on rumored black ancestry.165

In response to Collier’s letters, Plecker vilified the state’s Indian population and condemned the efforts of anthropologists to assist tribal revitalization projects.166 Despite Plecker’s antagonism, such scholars continued to work with Indians in the state to prove their ethnic identity. One man in particular, James Coates, made it his mission to combat the Virginia Bureau of Vital Statistics. After Plecker sent out a circular in 1943 to local registrars, doctors, nurses, clerks of court, school superintendents, and public health workers that allegedly exposed certain individuals as black, Coates did his own research into the complicated genealogies of Virginia Indians.167 He collected testimony from white Virginians who confirmed that the Pamunkeys were “good hard working people and have tried to uphold their race and traditions.”168 In another petition, white citizens in King William and New Kent Counties called on the State of Virginia to recognize the Indian identity of the Pamunkeys and objected to the claims of “certain prejudiced individuals” that the Pamunkeys had black ancestry.169 Such support from undeniably white Virginians bolstered the Pamunkeys’ claims and helped combat Plecker’s assertions.

Coates knew that official tribal documentation of citizens would help Virginia tribes prove their Indian identity by making the line between tribal citizens and non-tribal “colored” people less ambiguous. Consequently, he sent letters to the chiefs of Virginia tribes asking them each to produce a list of (p.49) tribal citizens in good standing. Coates expected these lists to serve as formal rolls that legally defined tribal citizenship to show “exactly who we are fighting for in our effort to obtain official recognition and proper classification as native Virginia Indians.” He strategically recommended to the chiefs that no one “be permitted to appear on the list whose good standing and blood relation is other than pure Indian or Indian and white.” This suggestion had the effect of encouraging tribes once again to purge from citizenship individuals with rumored black ancestry. The Chickahominies and other non-reservation communities quickly responded to Coates with citizenship lists.170 The Pamunkey chief wrote to Coates, telling him “that his council had finally decided to compile the census [he] requested some months ago”; however, no roll was forthcoming for several years.171

Finally, in 1954, the tribe prepared a governing document that provided the Pamunkeys with written laws and ordinances.172 They may have done so in response to an amendment passed by the Virginia General Assembly that confirmed state-recognized Indian identity for “members of Indian tribes existing in this Commonwealth having one-fourth or more of Indian blood and less than one-sixteenth of Negro blood.”173 The “Laws of the Pamunkey Indians” did not include specific criteria for tribal citizenship, other than to note that qualifying Pamunkey men over age eighteen were entitled to “a voice and vote in the affairs of the tribe.”174 Tribal ordinances specified, however, that “No member of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe shall intermarry with any person except those of white or Indian blood” or risk losing their citizenship. This stipulation complied with both Coates’s recommendation that the tribe preserve racial purity and the state’s warning that only individuals with less than one-sixteenth African American “blood” qualified as Indian. The Pamunkeys appended a list of “all male citizens residing on the reservation as of July 1, 1954,” as well as “a list of all male citizens living off the reservation as of that date” to the document.175 This roll, however, was neither officially approved by the state nor recognized by the federal government. Instead, it remained a flexible list subject to change at the tribe’s discretion.

Anthropologists like Speck and Coates encouraged Virginia Indians to develop strategies to distinguish tribal citizens officially from outsiders. Speck made another suggestion, however, that the Pamunkeys declined to accept. Beginning in the 1920s, Speck encouraged the descendants of all the Powhatan groups in Virginia to organize into corporate associations and consolidate their forces. Speck believed the Indians had power in numbers and that by working together, they could “avert obliteration of their names and racial tradition.”176 Tribes without reservation land, like the Chickahominies, welcomed this opportunity. The Pamunkeys saw the situation differently. In their view, association with other Virginia tribes weakened rather than strengthened (p.50) their identity claims. Tecumseh Deerfoot Cook explained the tribe’s concerns to Coates in 1944: “Some of these people whom Dr. Speck wants us to unite with are not even recognized as Indians by the State of Virginia… . [W]‌e feel that it is best to fight for Pamunkey Tribe exclusively and let the other tribes fight for themselves.”177 Although Pamunkeys certainly took interest in the fate of other Virginia tribes, with whom they intermarried, their primary concern was to preserve their particular tribal identity. In this way, Pamunkeys distinguished their citizenship not only from non-Indian outsiders but also from other Virginia tribes.

Walter Ashby Plecker finally retired from the Virginia Bureau of Vital Statistics in 1946 and died shortly thereafter. The next registrar continued a weaker version of Plecker’s policies; in 1959, however, a new registrar abandoned these practices altogether and destroyed Plecker’s Racial Integrity File.178 Conditions improved for Virginia Indians after Plecker departed, but his actions left a lasting legacy for the Pamunkeys. They had defended their Indian identity against the claims of outsiders since the early nineteenth century, and Plecker’s work showed them how quickly they could lose ground if they did not vigilantly police the racial identities of their tribal citizens. Years after Plecker’s death, the Indians “still hate[d]‌ his memory.” Moreover, they continued to agonize over questions of race. After conducting fieldwork with the tribe in the early 1970s, Rountree explained that to the Pamunkeys the color bar was “literally everything.”179 The tribal citizenship criteria created by the Pamunkeys during and shortly after Plecker’s term as head of the Bureau of Vital Statistics reflected their racial reclassification fears.

Although white Virginians like Plecker fought to prevent marriages between Indians and whites in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, such unions occurred. The Pamunkeys had a long history of intermarriage with whites. William Terrill Bradby informed Mooney, for example, that “the numerous Bradbys of the Pamunkey and Chickahominy tribes all have descent from a white man, his great-grandfather.” Such relationships continued into the twentieth century, whether or not the state legally recognized them.180 When they could not find marriage partners within their own community or among the citizens of other Virginia tribes, the only option acceptable to the Pamunkeys was marriage with whites.181 Unlike black intermarriage, white intermarriage did not threaten the Pamunkeys’ Indian identity. White Virginians generally perceived the children of these unions as Indian, not white. White intermarriage, however, raised new concerns for the tribe, especially in regard to protecting tribal resources. Pamunkeys also worried about the influence white spouses might exert over tribal affairs. They developed tribal rules to address these concerns.

(p.51) In the colonial era, Pamunkeys traced descent through the female line.182 Chiefs, known as “weroances,” acquired their positions by matrilineal inheritance: a ruling position passed from a female ancestor to her sons, then daughters, then the sons and daughters of her oldest daughter. Pamunkeys also historically recognized female rulers. The weroansqua Cockacoeske, for example, led the tribe in the mid-seventeenth century.183 Between 1664 and 1723, at least six Pamunkey women served in prominent leadership positions.184 Matrilineal inheritance meant that Pamunkey identity rested on the identity of an individual’s mother. Pamunkey women bore and raised Pamunkey children, no matter the racial identity of the fathers. Over the years, however, contact with patriarchal Euro-Americans shifted Pamunkey constructions of gender. As the Indians became more male-focused and Pamunkey women lost some of their economic power, the tribe began modeling its notions of descent and female citizenship rights on those of the surrounding Anglo-Virginian society. This set off a process by which Pamunkeys created a tiered system of citizenship that denied certain tribal citizens full political rights on the reservation.

By the late nineteenth century, the Pamunkeys had abandoned ideas of matrilineal descent in favor of bilateral inheritance. The children of both Indian fathers and Indian mothers had rights as tribal citizens, so long as they could prove their lineage and other Pamunkeys recognized their tribal connection.185 In a nod to Virginia’s racial statutes that defined as Indian those who lived on state reservations “with one-fourth or more Indian blood and less than one-sixteenth negro blood,” however, the tribe adopted blood quantum restrictions for reservation residency.186 To live on the reservation, Pamunkeys had to be at least a “quarter blood” Indian.187 Tribal citizens still considered individuals without the necessary ancestry to be kin, but these people did not enjoy all the privileges of tribal citizenship, such as access to reservation lands or voting rights in tribal elections. Even more controversial were the differences in citizenship rights the tribe granted male and female Pamunkeys.188

Pamunkey voting practices reflected gender imbalances on the reservation. The tribe’s political tradition was a point of pride for the Indians: it represented an unbroken continuation of their tribal sovereignty across years of hardship. They limited political rights in the tribe, however, to Pamunkey men. A young man became an eligible voter when he turned eighteen and paid a voter registration fee of $1. He could vote in every election thereafter, so long as he paid the tribe $6 a year in taxes and maintained residency on the reservation. In earlier times, the tribe had imposed an upper age limit of sixty-five years on voter participation, but by the mid-twentieth century this stipulation had disappeared as the reservation population aged.189 Men over sixty did not have to attend tribal meetings, but they still voted. The tribe imposed a $1 fine on younger men who missed meetings without an excuse. The Pamunkeys (p.52) codified these rules in their 1954 governing document.190 Pamunkey women, on the other hand, did not have voting rights, no matter their age or resident status, a franchise initially modeled on that of the state of Virginia.191 Even after women gained voting rights in the United States, however, the tribe continued to deny Pamunkey women the vote.192

Although they may have influenced the voting habits of their husbands and sons, Pamunkey women resented their lack of direct political power.193 In 1939, the state supervisor of Trade and Industrial Education reported that there were “considerable controversies between the men-folk and the women-folk” on the reservation.194 Dissatisfaction apparently grew. By the 1970s, Rountree noted that certain Pamunkey women were “not entirely happy” with the voting situation, “for they feel that women have as much sense as men.”195 Some Pamunkey men sympathized with their mothers, sisters, and wives and tried to effect change in the tribe’s voting policy. In the 1970s, for example, Edward Bradby advocated female suffrage until the tribe stripped him of his own voting rights due to his failure to meet the tribe’s residency requirement.196 In his opinion, reservation women were “harder workers than the men and they should have the right.”197 The chief at the time, Tecumseh Deerfoot Cook, also recognized “that some women want the vote, and the law may have to be changed in the future.”198 Ultimately, however, Pamunkey women could not muster enough male support to turn their desire into reality.199 Many men on the reservation were “reactionary on that subject” and blocked efforts to promote female suffrage.200 They believed that there was not “much to interest women in politics, and they have so much to do at home.”201 Although the Pamunkey chief and tribal council considered the issue of women’s voting rights in 1969 and 1976, they took no action to change tribal law.202

An issue that rankled Pamunkey women even more than voting rights was that of reservation residency. Pamunkey tradition allowed “a man of the tribe to bring his alien wife to the reservation, but a girl who marries an outsider has to depart and reside off the reservation.”203 This rule had deep origins and was related to Pamunkey fears of being reclassified as “colored.” In 1818, the Virginia Herald reported that two black men had married Pamunkey women and moved to the reservation. In response, the Pamunkeys called a meeting with their trustees and insisted that “their law orders that no individual who is not a descendant of a Pamunkey Indian shall settle among them.”204 By the twentieth century, the tribe also barred white men with Pamunkey wives from living on the reservation.205

Pamunkey men reasoned that intermarried white men had no place on the reservation because they lacked political rights in the tribe. If they lived there, they would take up “land that could otherwise be allotted to men who could be active in reservation affairs.”206 Only Indian men could vote and it (p.53) was impossible for a white man to become a naturalized citizen in the tribe since the state of Virginia only recognized as “Indian” those with a quarter or more Indian “blood.” Therefore, Pamunkey men asserted, “if he were in his right mind [a white man] would not want to live there, anyway.”207 Pamunkey women wondered if another motivation was at play. One woman speculated that “the more whites who come onto the reservation to live, the less the Indians will be in control.”208 Tribal elders, she claimed, feared that “the white men will take over.”209 White women, like Pamunkey women, had no political voice in the tribe, so white wives did not threaten Pamunkey authority over the reservation.210 Tribal leaders worried, however, that white husbands would not take disfranchisement lightly.

The tribal policy against the residency of white husbands and their Pamunkey wives preserved Pamunkey control over tribal land, but it affected the reservation population. Once they married whites, Pamunkey women had to move away and raise their children elsewhere. Without enough young families to take the place of their elders, the reservation population aged. By the 1980s, only sixty Indians remained on the reservation, most of them elderly.211 In contrast, the Mattaponis had a similar rule about intermarriage and residency, but it was not strictly enforced.212 Leniency regarding the residency of women with white husbands attracted more young people to the Mattaponi reservation and encouraged them to stay.

The controversy over white husbands and Pamunkey reservation residency continued into the late twentieth century. In 1989, the media picked up the story when the twin granddaughters of former chief Tecumseh Deerfoot Cook married white men and challenged the tribe’s policy. Kim Cook Taylor and Cam Cook Porter wanted permission to live on the reservation with their husbands. As Porter put it, “My roots are here and there are advantages to living here. I want to live here.” Sick of male-dominated Pamunkey politics, the sisters declared “This is the 1980’s and this is America, not the 1600’s and Jamestown.”213 They circulated a petition on the reservation and sought signatures from Pamunkeys who lived off the reservation in places like New Jersey and Tennessee. They predicted that “as many as 20 Indian women who married whites would return to the reservation if the laws are changed and the racial barrier is broken.”214 The sisters collected over two dozen signatures, and the tribal council agreed to meet with them once they completed the petition drive.215 Although the Pamunkey chief agreed that eventually the tribe would have to change its policy or risk “totally disappear[ing],” the issue remained unresolved.216

Pamunkey women also continued to fight for political inclusion. In 1988, nine female tribal members formed the Committee of Pamunkey Indian Women’s Rights Issues and petitioned the tribal council for an explicit (p.54) statement regarding “the rights and privileges of the Indian women.” The tribal council deliberated the issue, but in 1990 denied a motion to enfranchise Pamunkey women and to allow them to reside on the reservation with non-Indian husbands. Women continued to exert pressure on tribal leaders, however, and by 1998 the views of the tribal government on residency rights began to change. That year, eligible Pamunkey voters agreed to allow a Pamunkey woman and her white husband to build a home on tribal land.217 This ruling ended the gendered division of reservation residency rights.

Over the next decade, the tribe further deliberated female voting. The work of anthropologist John H. Moore in 2006, in particular, revealed the deep dissatisfaction of Pamunkey women with the tribal government. As one woman complained, the tribe should “at least give the women a voice and listen to the women.”218 Pamunkey women sent letters and petitions to the tribal government and also spoke to reporters about the injustice of their situation. The latter action incurred the wrath of certain members of the tribal council, who insisted that the women should work within the tribal government structure rather than airing the tribe’s dirty laundry in public.219 Yet the women were not deterred. Indeed, they linked their fight for a voice and a vote in the tribe to the Pamunkeys’ bid for federal recognition. In 2011, for example, Mildred “Gentle Rain” Moore complained to reporters that “a woman [Cockacoeske] saved this tribe, yet our women cannot serve as council members or even vote. If we attend tribal councils, we must remain silent. What will they do about women’s rights if they ever get federal recognition?”220

Ultimately, the women’s activism paid off. At a special tribal meeting held on July 12, 2012, Pamunkey men voted to extend the franchise to female tribal citizens and to afford them the same political rights as men. A victory for Pamunkey women, this decision was also a strategic move on the part of the tribe in its fight for federal recognition. In their revised petition for acknowledgment, the Pamunkeys pointed to the new law as “clear evidence of the Tribe’s self-determination and self-governance” as well as “the flexibility of the tribal government as it codifies and amends rules.” These actions, the tribe argued, fulfilled the federal government’s requirement that tribes seeking recognition demonstrate historical and ongoing political influence over their citizens.221

Just as women belonged to the tribe but lacked full citizenship rights until recently, men who migrated away from the reservation continued to be Pamunkeys but did not have all the privileges that came with reservation residency. Pamunkeys had long been a mobile people. Although strongly connected to the reservation by kinship and historical ties, individual Indians could not always make a living for their families if they stayed there.222 State laws during the Jim Crow years made finding gainful employment difficult. (p.55) Lured by the promise of better jobs and less discrimination, many Pamunkeys migrated to cities where their race was not known or to northern states.223 In 1901, for example, Mooney recorded that Pamunkeys lived in Philadelphia, Richmond, Petersburg, Newport News, and New York.224 In the 1920s, Speck noted that the Pamunkeys on the reservation numbered about 150 people, but had they “been able to keep together without the young men having to emigrate to the cities to find employment, the number would now be much larger.”225 Jim Crow legislation affected Pamunkey migration patterns in other ways as well. Some Indians chose to move away in order to “pass” as white. Louis Stewart, for example, recalled that his paternal uncle, George Stewart, married a white woman and never returned to the reservation because “he didn’t want trouble” for his daughters, who worked outside of Richmond at the Phillip Morris factory, which only hired whites.226

Upon leaving the reservation, some Pamunkeys found jobs in maritime and fishing industries that utilized their intimate knowledge of the Pamunkey River.227 Other Indians trained as mechanics and plumbers. Some became day laborers in Richmond and Baltimore. The Depression years saw the return to the reservation of a number of Indians who could no longer find work in the cities. These migrants, however, soon discovered “that if times are bad in the cities, neither are they flourishing on the reservation, the ancient pursuits of agriculture and trapping having declined in profit.”228 Lack of opportunity at home forced them to move away again.

The involvement of the United States in the First and Second World Wars also encouraged Pamunkeys to leave the reservation. Numerous Pamunkey men signed up to fight for the United States, and some even gave their lives. In 1918, for example, twenty-four-year-old Private Joseph I. Miles died in France from wounds he received in action.229 Fourteen tribal citizens served in the Second World War. Pamunkeys who enlisted in the military necessarily left the reservation during their time in training camps and in combat overseas. When they returned to the United States, some men chose to pursue careers in the armed forces and moved permanently away from the reservation.230

Pamunkey migrations accelerated after the Second World War. Young people, in particular, “[broke] the bonds of the reservation—choosing to work and marry and live beyond its confines.”231 These young people may not have wanted to leave, but economic necessity forced them to find jobs away from home. Some attended college and found employment as accountants, executives, and occupational therapists in cities.232 Others made conscious decisions to relocate because they objected to reservation politics and tribal rules. Edna Bradby Allmond, a Chickahominy, and her Mattaponi-Pamunkey husband, for example, lived just off of the reservation because they disliked “how houses on [the] reservation can only be sold to other Indians.”233 Although (p.56) they retained their connection to the tribal community, by the 1950s at least nineteen Pamunkeys lived elsewhere in the state and forty-five resided outside Virginia.234 In 1965, only twenty-nine individuals lived permanently on the reservation. Many of these were older Pamunkeys who came back in their retirement “to farm and fish for shad.”235 Whether they migrated out of necessity or by choice, their decisions came with costs.

While they lived away from the reservation, Pamunkeys forfeited their political rights as tribal citizens. Men who were absent from the reservation for more than six months lost their right to vote in tribal elections.236 This rule applied whether the men lived one mile or hundreds of miles away. If they stayed away for more than two years, they also lost their land: their plot reverted to the tribe and became available to someone else.237 The tribe reasoned that these individuals were “more orientated toward the outside world” and therefore did not deserve political and land rights during their absence.238 Indeed, in the late nineteenth century, ethnographer Albert Samuel Gatschet insisted that the tribe no longer recognized as full Pamunkeys “those Indz who live outside the settlement.”239 These individuals did not lose their tribal connection, however, as long as they chose to maintain it. Every August, the tribe held a “well-attended homecoming, with Indians who live away from the reservation coming home for an afternoon service which forms the beginning of a week-long revival.” Young Pamunkeys also returned to the reservation at other times to visit older relatives. Many migrants came back permanently once they retired.240 These individuals remained Pamunkeys while they were away; they simply did not have all the rights of tribal citizens.

The Pamunkeys denied citizenship rights to off-reservation Indians, but they fully reincorporated returning migrants. Pamunkey men regained the right to vote and hold political office if they returned to the reservation and spent at least half the year with the tribe. Chief Paul Miles, for example, spent seven years as a linesman on river steamers before returning to the reservation and taking on a leadership role in the 1920s and 1930s.241 Similarly, Tecumseh Deerfoot Cook worked at the Campbell Soup Company in Philadelphia for two decades before returning to Virginia. He became chief in 1942 and served in that capacity for the next forty years.242 If migrants returned and spent at least sixty days a year on the reservation, they also kept their home plots.243 Pamunkey men always had the potential for full citizenship rights. These rights simply depended on reservation residency.

The tiered system of citizenship created by the tribe allowed for fluidity in Pamunkey notions of belonging. The number of people in residence on tribal land was “only a fraction of the people genealogically entitled to live on the reservation.”244 In 1964, a reporter noted that “Though the resident members number less than 100, both the Pamunkeys and the Mattaponis claim as many (p.57) as 400 tribesmen each.”245 From an outsider’s perspective this ambiguous mix of “core,” “fringe,” and “genealogically eligible” people made Pamunkey tribal citizenship confusing and imprecise.246 For the Pamunkeys, it was simply a matter of knowing their relatives. Only those on the reservation, however, had full tribal rights. In this way, Pamunkeys married whites and migrated freely without losing their identity, but the tribe protected its land base from outside interests by limiting the legal rights of non-residents.

Over the years, Pamunkeys established citizenship criteria and categories that reflected their need to protect their Indian identity and tribal land from outsiders. They created racial barriers to citizenship to protect against “colored” reclassification, and they created a tiered system of citizenship to ensure that Pamunkeys always controlled the reservation. Despite establishing these standards, the Pamunkeys did not create a formal citizenship roll. James Mooney’s 1901 census, published in 1907, provided an unofficial count of the tribal population, as did tribal lists of eligible voters and federal censuses. The 1954 roll supplied another list of tribal citizens. These lists, however, lacked official standing and neither the state nor the federal government called on the Pamunkeys to create a formal roll. The non-binding format of these lists reflected Pamunkey desires to monitor tribal citizenship closely. Formal criteria may have permitted certain people to claim technical citizenship, but fluid definitions based on historical and ongoing needs allowed the tribe to maintain strict control over who belonged.

Without federally approved tribal citizenship criteria and an official tribal roll, the Pamunkeys defined tribal belonging on their own terms in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. In general, proof of belonging rested on the memories of recognized tribal citizens.247 If tribal citizens recalled the genealogies of applicants for citizenship, they included those individuals as Pamunkeys. If not, they denied them the right to live on the reservation. In their 2010 petition for federal recognition, the Pamunkeys claimed that citizenship depended on direct lineal descent from forty ancestors as well as “in-person interviews” of applicants. The Pamunkeys also mentioned the 1954 list, although they did not provide a copy of this roll to the Office of Federal Acknowledgment. The roll they provided the Office included 182 recognized tribal citizens, all descended from the original forty.248

After R. Lee Fleming wrote to the tribe and warned them about the deficiencies in their recognition petition, the Pamunkeys further clarified their citizenship criteria in a revision filed on July 11, 2012.249 To qualify for citizenship today, individuals must prove that they are a “direct lineal descendent” of a Pamunkey Indian listed on one or more census records, including the Pamunkey Indian Reservation Census of 1908, rolls of Pamunkey voters taken in the first decade of the twentieth century, and the 1900 and 1910 US (p.58) Censuses of the Pamunkey Indian Reservation.250 These requirements restrict citizenship to individuals with a genealogical connection to Pamunkeys who lived on the reservation in the early twentieth century. In addition, applicants for citizenship “must prove social connection to the Tribe and current Tribal members residing on the Reservation and the Tribe in general.” The chief and tribal council determine social connection by evaluating applicants’ written or oral statements about “all known and remembered contact they have had throughout their lifetime with those Tribal members residing on the Reservation.” Applicants must also provide three “resident Tribal members as references who will attest that the applicant has been in social contact.” Parents who wish to enroll their children also must provide this evidence since “Membership of the parent will not automatically grant membership to a minor,” especially if the parent “has lost social contact.”251

The Pamunkeys also reaffirmed the laws and ordinances passed by the tribe in 1954.252 These rules include restrictions on voting for non-resident tribal citizens and those who fail to pay the tribal resident tax, which the tribe raised from $6 to $25 a year in 2003.253 If Pamunkeys return to the reservation for a six-month period and pay the tax, they are “restored to voice and vote.”254 Thus, although Pamunkey women now have the same voting rights as Pamunkey men, the tribe maintains a tiered system of citizenship based on reservation residency.

The revised petition did not provide documentation that the Pamunkeys had amended the tribal ordinance against black intermarriage.255 In September 2014, members of the Congressional Black Caucus urged the Justice Department to investigate discrimination within the tribe before the Bureau of Indian Affairs rendered a final decision on Pamunkey recognition. In response, Pamunkey Chief Kevin Brown pointed out that the institutionalized racism of the state of Virginia had prompted the tribe to include racist policies in the past to protect the Indian identity of its citizens, but he maintained that these policies were “never an attack on, or reflective of, ill-will toward African-Americans.” Brown insisted that the intermarriage ban was “antiquated and now repealed.”256 The tribe’s new citizenship roll, dated October 18, 2012, includes 203 individuals, around forty of whom live on the Pamunkey reservation.257

Many of the historical struggles the Pamunkeys faced in their effort to preserve their reservation and Indian identity came as a result of their status as a state tribe. Without federal recognition, the Pamunkeys lacked assurances that whites would acknowledge them as Indians, especially during the Jim Crow years. To avoid extinction through legislation or amalgamation, real or imagined, the Pamunkeys had to make hard decisions about belonging. In particular, they used social distance from African Americans to prove that (p.59) they deserved separate categorization. Virginia’s biracial codes threatened Pamunkey identity, but also, more tangibly, reclassification as “colored” threatened Pamunkey land. If whites did not believe that they were Indian, they feared, Virginia might not uphold its treaty obligations to the tribe, including common ownership of their reservation. Distinguishing Pamunkey tribal citizens from black people was thus a matter of both political and economic survival. The tribe’s decision to create a tiered system of citizenship also reflected its goal of preserving the tribal land base. Until recently, the tribe denied full rights to Pamunkey women—especially those who married whites—and off-reservation Pamunkeys because Pamunkey men on the reservation feared losing control of the land. Historical factors, experiences, and fears influenced how the Pamunkeys decided who belonged.

Concerns about land rights and legal status explain the recent efforts of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe to obtain federal recognition. In early 2014, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn issued a proposed finding on the Pamunkey recognition petition in which he declared that the tribe met all seven mandatory criteria for acknowledgment.258 Following this finding, Pamunkey recognition went into a probationary period in which third parties could comment on the merits or flaws of the petition. During these months, a number of political enemies of the tribe endeavored to block Pamunkey recognition for economic reasons. The casino giant MGM, for example, was building a $1.2 billion gambling complex in Maryland, just across the Potomac from Virginia, and feared competition from the Pamunkeys. The anti-casino group Stand Up for California worried that Pamunkey recognition would open the door for small tribes in California to also gain acknowledgment and open casinos. Local Virginia businesses, meanwhile, feared that federal status would permit the tribe to sell gasoline, alcohol, and cigarettes more cheaply than non-Indians.259 To forestall Pamunkey recognition, these organizations cynically repeated many of Plecker’s early twentieth-century arguments. Stand Up for California, for example, insisted that several tribal citizens were in fact descendants of pre–Civil War free blacks, not Indians, and that the list that the tribe provided as proof of tribal citizenship was therefore unreliable.260 Tribal enemies also persuaded the Congressional Black Caucus and a group of Democratic congresswomen to question the tribe’s legitimacy based on their “long and clear practice of discriminating against women, African Americans and other non-Pamunkey tribal members.”261 The efforts of these groups to discredit the tribe delayed Pamunkey recognition and revealed the ways that outside perceptions of tribal citizenship continue to influence official acknowledgment of tribal sovereignty.

Despite the lobbying efforts of tribal enemies, on July 2, 2015, the Bureau of Indian Affairs rendered a favorable decision on Pamunkey recognition.262 On (p.60) the day before the ruling went into effect, however, Stand Up for California filed another request for reconsideration, which put a further hold on the tribe’s status. Once again, the organization cast aspersions on the Pamunkeys’ Indian identity by asserting that tribal citizens have black ancestry.263 The Interior Department’s Board of Indian Appeals reviewed the case and ultimately rejected Stand Up for California’s request. On January 28, 2016, the Pamunkey Indian Tribe became the 567th federally recognized tribe. Legal recognition of their status as “Indian” brings to an end the Pamunkeys’ long struggle to preserve their ethnic identity and reservation land.264

As the Pamunkeys have discovered, the path to federal recognition brings with it its own challenges since federal oversight means that internal tribal decisions about belonging are increasingly subject to outside scrutiny. The “logic of recognition,” which shaped tribal decisions on belonging in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, continues to influence how tribes define their citizenship today.

Notes:

(1.) R. Lee Fleming, Director of the Office of Federal Acknowledgment, to Robert Gray, April 11, 2011, United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, DC.

(2.) Helen C. Rountree, Pocahontas’s People: The Powhatan Indians of Virginia through Four Centuries (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1990), 110, 113, 164.

(5.) A Petition from Citizens of King William County, Virginia, to the General Assembly of Virginia, January 20, 1843, File: Clerk’s Correspondence, 1923–1929, Rockbridge County Clerk’s Records, Clerk’s Correspondence (A. T. Shields) (W. A. Plecker to A. T. Shields), 1872–1936, 1912–1943, Broken Series, Accession 1160754, Box 1, The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia (hereafter The Library of Virginia). This effort came just over a decade after Nat Turner’s 1831 insurrection, which prompted increasingly severe restrictions on the state’s non-white population, both slave and free.

(6.) Legislative Petitions, King William County, January 20, 1843. See Rountree, Pocahontas’s People, 194.

(7.) Legislative Petitions, King William County, November 26, 1842, and January 12, 1843. See Rountree, Pocahontas’s People, 194–195.

(8.) James Mooney, The Powhatan Confederacy, Past and Present, Draft of Article, 1907, Manuscript 2199, Smithsonian Institution, National Anthropological Archives, Washington, DC (hereafter NAA Washington).

(9.) Executive Letter Book 1856–1860, pp. 47–49. See Rountree, Pocahontas’s People, 198.

(10.) Kevin K. Washburn, Assistant Secretary, Indian Affairs, “Proposed Finding for Acknowledgment of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe (Petitioner #323), Prepared in Response to the Petition Submitted to the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs for Federal Acknowledgment as an Indian Tribe,” January 16, 2014, 41, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, DC.

(11.) Mooney, The Powhatan Confederacy, Past and Present, Manuscript 2199, NAA Washington.

(12.) For more information on Pamunkey involvement in the Civil War, see Laurence M. Hauptman, Between Two Fires: American Indians in the Civil War (New York: Free Press, 1995).

(13.) “Letter from Richmond: The Pamunkey and Mattaponi Indians—The Jennings Association,” Baltimore Sun (March 12, 1877): 4.

(14.) “An Old Pamunkey Buried,” Atlanta Constitution (August 6, 1899): 19.

(15.) Martha Pfaus, Our Indian Neighbors (Richmond, VA: Dover Baptist Association, 1947), 7, Helen C. Rountree, Rountree Collection of Virginia Indian Documents, 2005, Accession 42003, Personal Papers Collection, Box 4, The Library of Virginia.

(18.) Robert Reeves Solenberger to Judge J. Hoge Ricks, February 28, 1942, File: IV (20F1g) Speck, Frank G., General and Historical—g. Draft classification of Virginia Indians, 1940–1946, 82 items, Ms. Coll. 126, Frank G. Speck Papers, Sub-Collection 1, Box 13, American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (hereafter APS Philadelphia).

(19.) Mrs. Thos. P. Bagby, Tuckahoe: A Collection of Indian Stories and Legends (New York: Broadway, 1907), 70–71.

(20.) Helen C. Rountree, “Powhatan’s Descendants in the Modern World: Community Studies of the Two Virginia Indian Reservations, with Notes on Five Non-Reservation Enclaves,” The Chesopiean: A Journal of North American Archaeology,10 (June 1972): 68.

(22.) John Garland Pollard, “The Pamunkey Indians of Virginia,” Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 17 (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1894), 12.

(23.) Joyce Bradby Krigsvold, quoted by Kenneth Bradby Jr. in Pamunkey Speaks: Native Perspectives, edited by Bill O’Donovan (Charleston, SC: BookSurge, 2008), 68.

(25.) Chief Thomas Cook and Pamunkey Councilmen to Legislators of Virginia, February 13, 1877, Memorial of the Pamunkey Tribe, 1877, File: 15, Box 4, Virginia Secretary of the Commonwealth, Miscellaneous Records, 1872–1906, Accession 25299, State Government Records Collection, The Library of Virginia.

(26.) “Letter from Richmond,” 4.

(27.) “Powhatan’s Men Yet Live,” Washington Evening Star (April 25, 1894): 6; Albert Samuel Gatschet, Pamunkey Notebook, post 1893, Manuscript 2197, NAA Washington.

(28.) Kermit J. Schmidt, to Senator Ted Dalton, August 19, 1949, File: 5, Bacone College, Oklahoma, Correspondence, 1947–1955, Virginia Department of Education, Indian School Files, 1936–1967, Accession 29632, State Government Records Collection, Box 1, The Library of Virginia; Helen C. Rountree, “The Indians of Virginia: A Third Race in a Biracial State,” in Southeastern Indians since the Removal Era, edited by Walter L. Williams (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1979): 44–45, Helen C. Rountree Collection of Virginia Indian Documents, 2005, Accession 42003, Personal Papers Collection, The Library of Virginia.

(29.) Martha Pfaus, Our Debt to Virginia Indians (Richmond, VA: Dover Baptist Association, 1949), 9–10, Helen C. Rountree Collection of Virginia Indian Documents, 2005, Accession 42003, Personal Papers Collection, Box 4, The Library of Virginia.

(30.) “Tribe of Pamunkey: Conclusion of Their Most Interesting History,” Daily Times, Richmond, VA (November 2, 1890); Albert Samuel Gatschet, Pamunkey Notebook, post 1893, Manuscript 2197, NAA Washington.

(32.) Interview with Edna Bradby Allmond by Helen C. Rountree, July 19, 1970, File: Helen C. Rountree, Fieldnotes, 1969–1973, Helen C. Rountree Papers, Box 2, NAA Washington.

(33.) Edgar R. Lafferty Jr., on behalf of Chief T. D. Cook and the Pamunkey Tribal Council, to Helen C. Rountree, October 29, 1971, Helen C. Rountree Papers, Box 1, NAA Washington.

(34.) “The Pamunkey Indians: Life among Virginia Aborigines on Their Tidewater Reservation,” Baltimore Sun (September 7, 1889): 6.

(35.) “Pamunkeys Resent Being Classed as ‘Half Niggers,’” Baltimore Sun (January 23, 1904): 10.

(36.) F. Snowden Hopkins, “Modern Survivors of Chief Powhatan: A Virginia Tribe Still Dwells in Its Ancient Stronghold,” Baltimore Sun (October 16, 1932): M4.

(38.) “Pamunkey Indians Angry: Virginia Tribes Object to Riding in ‘Jim Crow’ Cars,” New York Times (July 29, 1900): 1.

(39.) “Validity of Virginia’s New Law,” Zion’s Herald, 78 (August 15, 1900): 1028.

(40.) “Pamunkey Indians Angry,” 1.

(41.) “Jim Crow Car Law Violated: Alleged Abuses on the Southern’s Trains—Pamunkey Indians Aggrieved,” Washington Post (July 29, 1900): 11.

(43.) “Pamunkey Indians,” Baltimore Sun (July 31, 1900): 8; “‘Jim Crow’ Law to Be Tested: Virginia’s Pamunkey Indians Indignant,” New York Times (August 4, 1900): 1.

(45.) “Pamunkey Indians Will Ride with the Whites,” Baltimore Sun (August 21, 1900): 8.

(46.) “The Powhatans,” American Antiquarian and Oriental Journal 31 (June 1, 1909): 147.

(47.) “Powhatan’s Men Yet Live,” 6.

(49.) “They Want Wives: Indians Are Sending among the Cherokees for Brides,” Atlanta Constitution (March 24, 1895): 3.

(50.) James Mooney, “The Powhatan Confederacy, Past and Present,” American Anthropologist, 9: 1 (January–March, 1907): 145. Copy of article in Helen C. Rountree Collection of Virginia Indian Documents, 2005, Accession 42003, Personal Papers Collection, Box 3, The Library of Virginia.

(51.) “The Pamunkey Indians: Life among Virginia Aborigines on Their Tidewater Reservation,” 6.

(53.) Interview with Jesse L. S. Pendleton, February 19, 1971, File: Helen C. Rountree, Fieldnotes, 1969–1973, Helen C. Rountree Papers, Box 2, NAA Washington. For a detailed study on the relationship between African Americans and Native Americans in Virginia, as well as the decisions of Virginia tribes to expel people with black ancestry from their tribal communities, see Arica L. Coleman, That the Blood Stay Pure: African Americans, Native Americans, and the Predicament of Race and Identity in Virginia (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013).

(54.) “Their Origin a Puzzle: Strange Groups of People along the Atlantic Coast,” Washington Post (November 23, 1902): 17.

(55.) “The Pamunkey Indians: Life among Virginia Aborigines on Their Tidewater Reservation,” 6.

(56.) “Their Origin a Puzzle,” 17.

(57.) Letter from Edgar R. Lafferty, J., on behalf of Chief T. D. Cook and the Pamunkey Tribal Council, to Helen C. Rountree, October 29, 1971, Helen C. Rountree Papers, Box 1, NAA Washington.

(58.) “They Want Wives,” 3.

(59.) When two families decided they were distantly related enough to marry, they took advantage of the situation. In 1901, for example, William G. Sweat, a Pamunkey fisherman, took Cruisa A. Bradby as his third consecutive wife. His first wife had been “a sister of his newly-made bride.” “Indians Wedded in Church Parsonage,” Washington Post (January 18, 1901): 9.

(60.) “They Want Wives,” 3.

(61.) James Mooney, to Albert S. Gatschet, September 20, 1887, File: Albert S. Gatschet, Letters Received, Manuscript 4047, NAA Washington.

(62.) File: IV (21F2h), Theodore Stern, Pamunkey—h. “Pamunkey Pottery,” 1941, 1 item, Ms. Coll. 126, Frank G. Speck Papers, Sub-Collection I, Box 14, APS Philadelphia.

(63.) Photo 74-4898, Jamestown Exposition of 1907, Chief Tecumseh D. Cook, Collection of Pamunkey Photos, Photo-Lot 87-6, NAA Washington.

(64.) Solenberger to Ricks, February 28, 1942, Ms. Coll. 126, APS Philadelphia.

(65.) “A Teacher Needed: Difficult to Secure One for the Pamunkey Children,” Baltimore Sun (October 26, 1900): 8.

(66.) “They Want Wives,” 3.

(67.) “Looking for New Blood: Mission of the Chief of the Virginia Pamunkeys to Chicago,” Washington Post (July 7, 1893): 1.

(70.) “They Want Wives,” 3; “Looking for New Blood,” 1.

(72.) Mooney, The Powhatan Confederacy, Past and Present, Manuscript 2199, NAA Washington.

(73.) “The Last of the Virginia Indians,” Christian Advocate and Journal, 30 (March 15, 1855): 44.

(74.) Frank G. Speck, “Chapters on the Ethnography of the Powhatan Tribes of Virginia,” Indian Notes and Monographs, 1 (New York: Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, 1928): 254, Helen C. Rountree Collection of Virginia Indian Documents, 2005, Accession 42003, Personal Papers Collection, Box 3, The Library of Virginia.

(75.) “Surviving Indian Tribes,” American Antiquarian and Oriental Journal, 30 (November/December 1908): 342.

(77.) Rountree, Pocahontas’s People, 211. In a 1972 letter, Rountree wrote that she found the idea of a connection between anthropologist James Mooney’s visit to the Pamunkeys (p.232) and Mattaponis and the split in the tribes “both intriguing and probable.” However, she said, “any definite evidence of influence by Mooney would be hard to ascertain from the Indians, as the Mattaponi have a mild rivalry with the Pamunkey and prefer to establish their own identity by convincing the public that their separate history goes back into aboriginal times.” See Helen C. Rountree to William M. Colby, October 19, 1972, Helen C. Rountree Papers, Box 1, NAA Washington.

(78.) Mooney, The Powhatan Confederacy, Past and Present, Manuscript 2199, NAA Washington.

(80.) Interview with June Langston, Mattaponi, by Helen C. Rountree, June 19, 1970, File: Helen C. Rountree, Fieldnotes, 1969–1973, Helen C. Rountree Papers, Box 2, NAA Washington.

(83.) “Tribe of Pamunkey: Conclusion of Their Most Interesting History” Manuscript 2197, NAA Washington; Speck, “Chapters on the Ethnography of the Powhatan Tribes of Virginia,” 238.

(84.) Chief Thomas Cook and Councilmen to Governor James L. Kemper, February 9, 1877, File: James L. Kemper, Executive Papers, 1877 February, Virginia, Governor’s Office, Executive Papers of Governor James L. Kemper, 1874–1877, Accession 43755, State Government Records Collection, Box 4, The Library of Virginia; “Tribe of Pamunkey: Conclusion of Their Most Interesting History,” Manuscript 2197, NAA Washington.

(85.) “Tribe of Pamunkey: Conclusion of Their Most Interesting History,” Manuscript 2197, NAA Washington.

(86.) “Powhatan’s Men Yet Live,” Washington Evening Star (April 25, 1894): 6, Gatschet, Albert Samuel, Pamunkey Notebook, Post 1893, Manuscript 2197, NAA Washington. Pamunkeys continue to vote using corn and bean ballots today. See Minutes of Special Tribal Meeting, July 12, 2012, Appendix 1, “Supplemental Report on Pamunkey Women’s ‘Voice and Vote’ Rights, Petition for Federal Acknowledgment, October 19, 2012, 11, United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, DC.

(87.) Interview with Chief T. D. Cooke, Pamunkey, August 22, 1970, File: Helen C. Rountree, Fieldnotes, 1969–1973, Helen C. Rountree Papers, Box 2, NAA Washington.

(88.) “Virginia Letter: The Pamunkey Indians and Their Little Reservation,” Washington Chronicle (December 14, 1890), File: Gatschet, Albert Samuel, The Pamunkey Indians and Their Little Reservation, December 14, 1890, Manuscript 55, NAA Washington.

(89.) “They Want Wives,” 3.

(90.) “Virginia Letter: The Pamunkey Indians and Their Little Reservation,” Manuscript 55, NAA Washington.

(92.) “Virginia Letter: The Pamunkey Indians and Their Little Reservation,” Manuscript 55, NAA Washington.

(93.) Interview with Chief and Mrs. Tecumseh Deerfoot Cook, by Helen C. Rountree, July 15, 1970, File: Helen C. Rountree, Fieldnotes, 1969–1973, Helen C. Rountree Papers, Box 2, NAA Washington; “Tribute from Red Men: Pamunkey Indians Take a Fine Deer to Governor Swanson,” Baltimore Sun (December 31, 1907): 5.

(94.) File: IV (21F2d), Speck, Frank G., Pamunkey—d. “Virginia Indians Past and Present,” newspaper article, n.d., 1 item, Ms. Coll. 126, Frank G. Speck Papers, Sub-Collection I, Box 14, APS Philadelphia.

(95.) “They Want Wives,” 3.

(97.) “Tribe of Pamunkey: Conclusion of Their Most Interesting History,” Manuscript 2197, NAA Washington.

(98.) Gatschet, Albert Samuel, Pamunkey notebook, post 1893, Manuscript 2197, NAA Washington.

(99.) “They Want Wives,” 3; interview with Chief T. D. Cooke, by Helen C. Rountree, August 22, 1970, File: Helen C. Rountree, Fieldnotes, 1969–1973, Helen C. Rountree Papers, Box 2, NAA Washington.

(101.) Interview with Chief T. D. Cooke, by Helen C. Rountree, August 22, 1970, File: Helen C. Rountree, Fieldnotes, 1969–1973, Helen C. Rountree Papers, Box 2, NAA Washington.

(103.) File: IV (21F2d), Speck, Frank G., Pamunkey—d. “Virginia Indians Past and Present,” newspaper article, n.d., 1 item, Ms. Coll. 126, Frank G. Speck Papers, Sub-Collection I, Box 14, APS Philadelphia.

(104.) Mooney, “The Powhatan Confederacy, Past and Present,” 146; File: IV (21F2d), Speck, Frank G., Pamunkey—d. “Virginia Indians Past and Present,” newspaper article, n.d., 1 item, Ms. Coll. 126, Frank G. Speck Papers, Sub-Collection I, Box 14, APS Philadelphia.

(105.) “Pamunkey Indians: Vanishing Remnant of a Once Powerful Tribe,” Los Angeles Times (June 3, 1894): 9.

(106.) “Women’s Board of Home Missions,” New York Evangelist, 69 (April 21, 1898): 17; “Pamunkey Indians: Vanishing Remnant of a Once Powerful Tribe,” 9.

(107.) Interview with James Page by Thomas Blumer, 1980s, File: Pamunkey Indians, Oral History, Thomas J. Blumer Collection on the Catawba Nation Native American Studies Collection, Medford Library, the University of South Carolina, Lancaster, South Carolina (hereafter Thomas J. Blumer Collection).

(108.) File: IV (21F2d), Speck, Frank G., Pamunkey—d. “Virginia Indians Past and Present,” newspaper article, n.d., 1 item, Ms. Coll. 126, Frank G. Speck Papers, Sub-Collection I, Box 14, APS Philadelphia.

(110.) “Pamunkeys’ Past Is Obscure: Remnant of the Virginia Aborigines Live, Dress, and Worship like Whites,” Washington Post (November 26, 1899): 13.

(113.) Interview with Chief and Mrs. Tecumseh Deerfoot Cook, by Helen C. Rountree, July 15, 1970, File: Helen C. Rountree, Fieldnotes, 1969–1973, Helen C. Rountree Papers, Box 2, NAA Washington.

(114.) File: IV (21F2d), Speck, Frank G., Pamunkey—d. “Virginia Indians Past and Present” newspaper article, n.d., 1 item, Ms. Coll. 126, Frank G. Speck Papers, Sub-Collection I, Box 14, APS Philadelphia.

(115.) Interview with Mrs. T. D. Cooke, assisted by Mrs. Dora Cook Bradby, by Helen C. Rountree, June 17, 1970, File: Helen C. Rountree, Fieldnotes, 1969–1973, Helen C. Rountree Papers, Box 2, NAA Washington.

(116.) File: IV (21F2h), Stern, Theodore, Pamunkey—h. “Pamunkey Pottery,” 1941, 1 item, Ms. Coll. 126, Frank G. Speck Papers, Sub-Collection I, Box 14, APS Philadelphia.

(119.) M. R. Harrington, “Catawba Potters and Their Work,” American Anthropologist (July, August, September, 1908): 406, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina (hereafter South Caroliniana Library).

(120.) “Powhatan’s Men Yet Live,” 6, Manuscript 2197, NAA Washington. In 1908, anthropologist M. R. Harrington wrote that “the few vessels manufactured now by the Pamunkey for curio hunters are plainly crude attempts to resuscitate the art practiced by the grandmothers of the present generation.” See Harrington, “Catawba Potters and Their Work,” 406.

(121.) File: IV (21F2d), Speck, Frank G., Pamunkey—d. “Virginia Indians Past and Present” newspaper article, n.d., 1 item, Ms. Coll. 126, Frank G. Speck Papers, Sub-Collection I, Box 14, APS Philadelphia. The visits of scholars like Frank G. Speck “served as a powerful stimulus in the recollection of elements fast passing into oblivion.” See Theodore Stern, “Pamunkey Pottery Making,” Southern Indian Studies, 3 (October, 1951): 65, Helen C. Rountree Collection of Virginia Indian Documents, 2005, Accession 42003, Personal Papers Collection, Box 4, The Library of Virginia.

(122.) File: IV (21F2d), Speck, Frank G., Pamunkey—d. “Virginia Indians Past and Present” newspaper article, n.d., 1 item, Ms. Coll. 126, Frank G. Speck Papers, Sub-Collection I, Box 14, APS Philadelphia.

(123.) File: IV (21F2d), Speck, Frank G., Pamunkey—d. “Virginia Indians Past and Present.”

(124.) File: IV (21F2h), Stern, Theodore, Pamunkey—h. “Pamunkey Pottery,” 1941, 1 item, Ms. Coll. 126, Frank G. Speck Papers, Sub-Collection I, Box 14, APS Philadelphia.

(125.) Interview with Mrs. T. D. Cooke, assisted by Mrs. Dora Cook Bradby, by Helen C. Rountree, June 17, 1970, File: Helen C. Rountree, Fieldnotes, 1969-1973, Helen C. Rountree Papers, Box 2, NAA Washington.

(126.) File: IV (21F2h), Stern, Theodore, Pamunkey—h. “Pamunkey Pottery,” 1941, 1 item, Ms. Coll. 126, Frank G. Speck Papers, Sub-Collection I, Box 14, APS Philadelphia.

(127.) “Pamunkeys Want a Sea Trip,” Morning Times, Washington, DC (July 6, 1899), Gatschet, Albert Samuel, Pamunkey notebook, post 1893, Manuscript 2197, NAA Washington.

(128.) “Notice! Powhatan’s Pamunkey Indian Braves Will Perform,” 1898, Manuscript 4969, NAA Washington.

(129.) “Pamunkeys Want a Sea Trip,” Manuscript 2197, NAA Washington.

(130.) “Pamunkeys to Go on Warpath in Richmond Colonial Pageant,” Washington Post (May 29, 1935): 19.

(131.) The Treaty of 1677 specified that the chiefs of Virginia tribes “in the Moneth of March every year, with some of their Great Men, shall tender their Obedience to the Right Honourable His Majesties Governour at the place of his Residence, wherever it shall be, and there pay the accustomed Tribute of Twenty Beaver Skins to the Governour, and also their Quit-Rent aforesaid, in acknowledgement they hold their Crowns and Lands of the Great King of England.” See “May 1677—With Pamunkeys, Weyanocks, Nottoways, Nansemonds, Ratified 1680, with additional signers: Appamattucks, Monacans, Meherrins, Saponis, and a combination of nanzatico/Nanzemunch/Portobaccos,” in Early American Indian Documents: Treaties and Laws, 1609–1789, Vol. 4: Virginia Treaties, 1607–1722, edited by W. Stitt Robinson (Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, 1983), 82–87, Helen C. Rountree Collection of Virginia Indian Documents, 2005, Accession 42003, Personal Papers Collection, Box 3, The Library of Virginia.

(132.) “Tribute from Red Men: Pamunkey Indians Take a Fine Deer to Governor Swanson,” Baltimore Sun (December 31, 1907): 5.

(133.) “Surviving Indian Tribes,” 342.

(134.) 1901 Pamunkey Census by James Mooney, reprinted in Kevin K. Washburn, Assistant Secretary, Indian Affairs, “Proposed Finding for Acknowledgment of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe (Petitioner #323), Prepared in Response to the Petition Submitted to the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs for Federal Acknowledgment as an Indian Tribe,” January 16, 2014, Appendix B, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, DC.

(135.) Mooney, The Powhatan Confederacy, Past and Present, Manuscript 2199, NAA Washington.

(136.) Kevin K. Washburn, Assistant Secretary, Indian Affairs, “Proposed Finding for Acknowledgment of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe (Petitioner #323), Prepared in Response to the Petition Submitted to the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs for Federal Acknowledgment as an Indian Tribe,” January 16, 2014, 88, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, DC.

(139.) Bureau of Vital Statistics, State Board of Health, Eugenics in Relation to the New Family and the Law on Racial Integrity (Richmond: Davis Bottom, Supt. Public Printing, 1924): 6–7, File: Clerk’s Correspondence, 1924, Rockbridge County Clerk’s Records, Clerk’s Correspondence (A. T. Shields) (W. A. Plecker to A. T. Shields), 1872–1936, 1912–1943, Broken Series, Accession 1160754, Box 1, The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia; W. A. Plecker, “The New Virginia Law to Preserve Racial Integrity,” Virginia Health Bulletin, 56 (March, 1924): 5, File: Clerk’s Correspondence, 1924, Rockbridge County Clerk’s Records, Clerk’s Correspondence (A. T. Shields) (W. A. Plecker to A. T. (p.235) Shields), 1872–1936, 1912–1943, Broken Series, Accession 1160754, Box 1, The Library of Virginia.

(140.) In 1926, Plecker wrote that he and his colleagues at the Bureau of Vital Statistics “expect to bend all of our energies to listing as accurately as possible all who are claiming admittance into the white race, either through the Indian route or directly through extensive white intermixture.” See W. A. Plecker, State Registrar, to A. T. Shield, Rockbridge County Clerk’s Office, April 2, 1926, File: Clerk’s Correspondence, 1923–1929, Rockbridge County Clerk’s Records, Clerk’s Correspondence (A. T. Shields) (W. A. Plecker to A. T. Shields), 1872–1936, 1912–1943, Broken Series, Accession 1160754, Box 1, The Library of Virginia.

(142.) Bertha Pfister Wailes, Backward Virginians: A Further Study of the Win Tribe (Richmond: University of Virginia, 1928); see Helen Rountree’s Notes of the Wailes Thesis, Helen C. Rountree Collection of Virginia Indian Documents, 2005, Accession 42003, Personal Papers Collection, Box 3, The Library of Virginia.

(144.) W. A. Plecker, State Registrar, to John Collier, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, April 6, 1943, File: Pamunkey Indians, 138, 1942–1946, Cherokee Indian Agency, Series 6, General Records, Correspondence, Indian Field Service Filing System, 1926–1952, Box 45, RG 75, National Archives and Records Administration, Atlanta, Georgia (hereafter NARA Atlanta). Plecker’s racial ideas were bolstered by the writings of other eugenicists, like Arthur Howard Estabrook and Ivan E McDougle, who disparaged mixed-race communities in their 1926 book, Mongrel Virginians: The Win Tribe (Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1926).

(145.) “Virginia Passes ‘One Drop’ Bill Unanimously: Designed to Check Mixing in Schools,” Pittsburgh Courier (February 22, 1930): 20; W. A. Plecker, State Registrar, to Annie Belle Crowder, July 23, 1945, File: 13, General Correspondence, 1945–64, Virginia Department of Education, Indian School Files, 1936–1967, Accession 29632, State Government Records Collection, Box 1, The Library of Virginia.

(146.) W. A. Plecker, State Registrar, to Annie Belle Crowder, July 23, 1945, File: 13, General Correspondence, 1945–64, Virginia Department of Education, Indian School Files, 1936–1967, Accession 29632, State Government Records Collection, Box 1, The Library of Virginia.

(147.) “Virginia Passes ‘One Drop’ Bill Unanimously,” 20.

(148.) William Jones, “Day by Day: Negroid Indians in Virginia,” Baltimore Afro-American (October 31, 1925): 9.

(149.) W. A. Plecker, State Registrar, to Annie Belle Crowder, July 23, 1945, File: 13, General Correspondence, 1945–64, Virginia Department of Education, Indian School Files, 1936–1967, Accession 29632, State Government Records Collection, Box 1, The Library of Virginia.

(150.) James R. Coates to Frank G. Speck, December 2, 1944, File: IV (20F1g) Speck, Frank G., General and Historical—g. Draft classification of Virginia Indians, 1940–1946, 82 items, Ms. Coll. 126, Frank G. Speck Papers, Sub-Collection 1, Box 13, APS Philadelphia.

(152.) W. A. Plecker, State Registrar, to Mary F. Adkins, January 23, 1942, File: Pamunkey Indians, 138, 1942–1946, Cherokee Indian Agency, Series 6, General Records, Correspondence, Indian Field Service Filing System, 1926–1952, Box 45, RG 75, NARA Atlanta.

(153.) W. A. Plecker, State Registrar, to Martha V. Wood, November 23, 1925, File: Clerk’s Correspondence, 1923–1929, Rockbridge County Clerk’s Records, Clerk’s Correspondence (A. T. Shields) (W. A. Plecker to A. T. Shields), 1872–1936, 1912–1943, Broken Series, Accession 1160754, Box 1, The Library of Virginia.

(154.) This warning cited the Encyclopedia Britannica and the 1843 petition to insist that Pamunkeys were “all mixed-bloods; some negro mixture.” Solenberger to Ricks, February 28, 1942, Ms. Coll. 126, APS Philadelphia; Document Issued by Bureau of Vital Statistics, 1947, James R. Coates Papers, 1833–1947, Accession 31577, Personal Papers Collection, The Library of Virginia.

(155.) Document Issued by Bureau of Vital Statistics, 1947, James R. Coates Papers, 1833–1947, Accession 31577, Personal Papers Collection, The Library of Virginia.

(156.) W. A. Plecker, State Registrar, to John Collier, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, April 6, 1943, File: Pamunkey Indians, 138, 1942–1946, Cherokee Indian Agency, Series 6, General Records, Correspondence, Indian Field Service Filing System, 1926–1952, Box 45, RG 75, NARA Atlanta.

(157.) Memorandum No. 336, from State Headquarters from Selective Service, Richmond, VA., to All Local Boards, January 7, 1942, File: IV (20F1g) Speck, Frank G., General and Historical—g. Draft classification of Virginia Indians, 1940–1946, 82 items, Ms. Coll. 126, Frank G. Speck Papers, Sub-Collection 1, Box 13, APS Philadelphia.

(158.) Lawrence E. Lindley, to John Collier, February 26, 1942, File: IV (20F1g) Speck, Frank G., General and Historical—g. Draft classification of Virginia Indians, 1940–1946, 82 items, Ms. Coll. 126, Frank G. Speck Papers, Sub-Collection 1, Box 13, APS Philadelphia.

(159.) Council of Pamunkey Tribe of Indians to Colgate W. Darden, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, July 23, 1942, James R. Coates Papers, 1833–1947, Accession 31577, Personal Papers Collection, The Library of Virginia.

(160.) W. A. Plecker, State Registrar, to John Collier, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, April 6, 1943, File: Pamunkey Indians, 138, 1942–1946, Cherokee Indian Agency, Series 6, General Records, Correspondence, Indian Field Service Filing System, 1926–1952, Box 45, RG 75, NARA Atlanta.

(161.) Lawrence E. Lindley, to John Collier, February 26, 1942, File: IV (20F1g) Speck, Frank G., General and Historical—g. Draft classification of Virginia Indians, 1940–1946, 82 items, Ms. Coll. 126, Frank G. Speck Papers, Sub-Collection 1, Box 13, APS Philadelphia.

(162.) W. Carson Ryan, Jr. to William Zimmerman, February 11, 1938, Records of the Offices of Chief Clerk and Assistant Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Correspondence of Assistant Commissioner William Zimmerman, 1935–48, Box 2, RG 75, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC (hereafter NARA Washington).

(163.) William Zimmerman to Dr. W. Carson Ryan, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, New York, March 10, 1938, Records of the Offices of Chief Clerk and Assistant Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Correspondence of Assistant Commissioner William Zimmerman, 1935–48, Box 2, RG 75, NARA Washington.

(164.) William Zimmerman to B. H. Van Oot, State Supervisor of Trade and Industrial Education, Richmond, VA, March 10, 1938, Records of the Offices of Chief Clerk and Assistant Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Correspondence of Assistant Commissioner William Zimmerman, 1935–48, Box 2, RG 75, NARA Washington.

(165.) John Collier to W.A. Plecker, May 1, 1943, File: Pamunkey Indians, 138, 1942-1946, Cherokee Indian Agency, Series 6, General Records, Correspondence, Indian Field Service Filing System, 1926-1952, Box 45, RG 75, NARA Atlanta.

(166.) W. A. Plecker, State Registrar, to John Collier, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, April 6, 1943, File: Pamunkey Indians, 138, 1942–1946, Cherokee Indian Agency, Series 6, General Records, Correspondence, Indian Field Service Filing System, 1926–1952, Box 45, RG 75, NARA Atlanta; W. A. Plecker to John Collier, October 26, 1943, File: Pamunkey Indians, 138, 1942–1946, Cherokee Indian Agency, Series 6, General Records, Correspondence, Indian Field Service Filing System, 1926–1952, Box 45, RG 75, NARA Atlanta.

(168.) J. L. Prince, April 11, 1945, James R. Coates Papers, 1833–1947, Accession 31577, Personal Papers Collection, The Library of Virginia.

(169.) Petition, March 1, 1945, James R. Coates Papers, 1833–1947, Accession 31577, Personal Papers Collection, The Library of Virginia.

(170.) James R. Coates to Tribal Chiefs of Virginia Tribes, January 14, 1947, James R. Coates Papers, 1833–1947, Accession 31577, Personal Papers Collection, The Library of Virginia.

(171.) James R. Coates to Frank G. Speck, November 6, 1945, File: IV (20F1g) Speck, Frank G., General and Historical—g. Draft classification of Virginia Indians, 1940–1946, 82 items, Ms. Coll. 126, Frank G. Speck Papers, Sub-Collection 1, Box 13, APS Philadelphia.

(172.) Pamunkey Indian Tribe, “Laws of the Pamunkey Indians,” circa 1954, reprinted in Pamunkey Indian Tribe Petition for Federal Acknowledgment, Appendix 4: Part A, Pamunkey Tribal Documents, 2010, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, DC.

(174.) Pamunkey Indian Tribe, “Laws of the Pamunkey Indians,” circa 1954, reprinted in Pamunkey Indian Tribe Petition for Federal Acknowledgment, Appendix 4: Part A, Pamunkey Tribal Documents, 2010, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, DC.

(175.) Pamunkey Indian Tribe, “Laws of the Pamunkey Indians,” circa 1954, reprinted in Pamunkey Indian Tribe Petition for Federal Acknowledgment, Appendix 4: Part A, Pamunkey Tribal Documents, 2010, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, DC.

(177.) Tecumseh Cook to James Coates, December 18, 1944, File: IV (20F1g), Speck, Frank G., General and Historical—g. Draft classification of Virginia Indians, 1940–1946, 82 items, Ms. Coll. 126, Frank G. Speck Papers, Sub-Collection 1, Box 13, APS Philadelphia.

(179.) Helen C. Rountree to W. Grosvenor Pollard, III, August 28, 1972, Helen C. Rountree Papers, Box 1, NAA Washington.

(180.) In 1901, for example, Mooney recorded at least three Pamunkey men with white wives. Mooney, The Powhatan Confederacy, Past and Present, Manuscript 2199, NAA Washington.

(181.) Rev. E. D. Gooch, April 24, 1945, James R. Coates Papers, 1833–1947, Accession 31577, Personal Papers Collection, The Library of Virginia.

(183.) Rountree, Pocahontas’s People, 9–10, 110. For more information on Cockacoeske, see Martha W. McCartney, “Cockacoeske, Queen of Pamunkey: Diplomat and Suzeraine,” in Powhatan’s Mantle: Indians in the Colonial Southeast, edited by Gregory A. Waselkov, Peter H. Wood, and Tom Hatley (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2006), 243–266.

(184.) Pamunkey Indian Tribe, “Supplemental Report on Pamunkey Women’s ‘Voice and Vote’ Rights,” Petition for Federal Acknowledgment, October 19, 2012, 2, United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, DC.

(185.) Interview with Chief William Miles of the Pamunkey Indian Reservation, by B. Hammje, for Rountree’s Virginia Indians Class, October, 1986, Helen C. Rountree Papers, Box 3, NAA Washington.

(186.) W. A. Plecker, State Registrar, to Annie Belle Crowder, July 23, 1945, File: 13, General Correspondence, 1945–64, Virginia Department of Education, Indian School Files, 1936–1967, Accession 29632, State Government Records Collection, Box 1, The Library of Virginia.

(187.) Interview with Chief William Miles of the Pamunkey Indian Reservation, by B. Hammje, for Rountree’s Virginia Indians Class, October, 1986, Helen C. Rountree Papers, Box 3, NAA Washington.

(188.) Student fieldnotes by Leslie Willis, October, 1986, File: Helen C. Rountree, Fieldnotes, April 1986–December 1986, Helen C. Rountree Papers, Box 3, NAA Washington.

(189.) Interview with Chief T. D. Cook, by Helen C. Rountree, August 22, 1970, File: Helen C. Rountree, Fieldnotes, 1969–1973, Helen C. Rountree Papers, Box 2, NAA Washington.

(190.) Pamunkey Indian Tribe, “Laws of the Pamunkey Indians,” circa 1954, reprinted in Pamunkey Indian Tribe Petition for Federal Acknowledgment, Appendix 4: Part A, Pamunkey Tribal Documents, 2010, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, DC.

(192.) This should perhaps come as no surprise considering that the state of Virginia delayed its own ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment until 1952. Not subject to federal (p.238) oversight since it lacked federal recognition, the Pamunkey Indian Tribe maintained the conservative gender policies that it had learned from Anglo-Virginians.

(193.) One of Helen C. Rountree’s anthropology students noted that among the Mattaponi, “wives play a big role in influencing their husbands’ vote.” Like the Pamunkeys, the Mattaponis limited suffrage to men, but women played political roles behind the scenes. In the early 1980s, the wife of the Mattaponi chief, Gertrude Custalow, exerted “great influence over the chief’s decisions.” See Notes on Fieldtrip to the Pamunkey and Mattaponi Reservations, November, 1983, File: Helen C. Rountree, Fieldnotes, 1983–1985, Helen C. Rountree Papers, Box 2, NAA Washington.

(194.) B. H. Van Oot, State Supervisor of Trade and Industrial Education, to Frank Speck, December 14, 1939, File: IV (21F2s) Speck, Frank G., Pamunkey—s. Correspondence with Informants, 1921–1940, 7 items, Ms. Coll. 126, Frank G. Speck Papers, Sub-Collection I, Box 14, APS Philadelphia.

(195.) Interview with Mrs. T. D. Cooke, assisted by Mrs. Dora Cook Bradby, June 17, 1970, by Helen C. Rountree, File: Helen C. Rountree, Fieldnotes, 1969–1973, Helen C. Rountree Papers, Box 2, NAA Washington.

(196.) August 15, 1970, File: Helen C. Rountree, Fieldnotes, 1969–1973, Helen C. Rountree Papers, Box 2, NAA Washington.

(197.) Interview with Edward Bradby, by Helen C. Rountree, August 15, 1970, File: Helen C. Rountree, Fieldnotes, 1969–1973, Helen C. Rountree Papers, Box 2, NAA Washington.

(198.) Interview with Chief T. D. Cooke, by Helen C. Rountree, August 22, 1970, File: Helen C. Rountree, Fieldnotes, 1969–1973, Helen C. Rountree Papers, Box 2, NAA Washington.

(199.) Helen C. Rountree, “Indian Virginians on the Move,” in Indians of the Southeastern United States in the Late 20th Century, edited by J. Anthony Paredes (Tucaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1992), 18, Helen C. Rountree Collection of Virginia Indian Documents, 2005, Accession 42003, Personal Papers Collection, Box 5, The Library of Virginia.

(200.) August 15, 1970, File: Helen C. Rountree, Fieldnotes, 1969-1973, Helen C. Rountree Papers, Box 2, NAA Washington.

(201.) Interview with Chief T. D. Cooke, by Helen C. Rountree, August 22, 1970, File: Helen C. Rountree, Fieldnotes, 1969–1973, Helen C. Rountree Papers, Box 2, NAA Washington.

(204.) Kevin K. Washburn, Assistant Secretary, Indian Affairs, “Proposed Finding for Acknowledgment of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe (Petitioner #323), Prepared in Response to the Petition Submitted to the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs for Federal Acknowledgment as an Indian Tribe,” January 16, 2014, 25, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C.

(206.) Interview with Chief T. D. Cooke, Pamunkey, by Helen C. Rountree, August 22, 1970, File: Helen C. Rountree, Fieldnotes, 1969–1973, Helen C. Rountree Papers, Box 2, NAA Washington.

(208.) B. Drummond Ayers, “Last Stand Nears for Tiny Indian Tribe’s Identity: ‘I Can’t Remember When a Pamunkey Last Married a Pamunkey,” New York Times (January 16, 1989): A8.

(209.) Joe Volz, “Two Indian Women Fighting Tribal Law that Bars White Husband from Reservation,” Indian Trader (April, 1989): 16, File: Pamunkey Indians, Clippings, 27 September 1884—August 2001, n.d., Thomas J. Blumer Collection.

(210.) Hilary Appelman, “Va. Indian Wives Fight to Stay on Reservation: Pamunkey Women Who Marry Outsiders Must Give Up Residency,” Washington Post (January 14, 1989): B8.

(220.) See Nancy Wright Beasley, “The Pamunkey Legacy: Mildred ‘Gentle Rain’ Moore Aims to Preserve Her Tribe’s Heritage,” Richmond Magazine (November, 2011), http://www.richmondmagazine.com/articles/the-pamunkey-legacy-01-24-2012.html, accessed April 25, 2014.

(222.) Pamunkeys felt strongly connected to the reservation. According to Francis Elizabeth Scott Bagby, when confronted with the idea that the tribe should sell their land and “move to a more healthful location” in 1907, the Pamunkey Chief proclaimed that the Pamunkeys could not possibly “sell the graves of our ancestors.” Even if they moved away, Pamunkeys recognized the reservation as the home land of their ancestors and gathering point of the tribe. See Bagby, Tuckahoe: A Collection of Indian Stories and Legends, vi.

(224.) Mooney, The Powhatan Confederacy, Past and Present, Manuscript 2199, NAA Washington.

(227.) Hopkins, “Modern Survivors of Chief Powhatan,” M4. In 1895, a newspaper article reported that twenty Pamunkeys and Mattaponis served “as boatmen on steamers plying the Virginia rivers.” See “They Want Wives,” 3.

(229.) “Pamunkey Indian Killed in France,” Atlanta Constitution (November 26, 1918): 7.

(230.) G. W. J. Blume, “Present-Day Indians of Tidewater Virginia,” Quarterly Bulletin of the Archaeological Society of Virginia, 6 (December, 1951): 1–8, Helen C. Rountree Collection of Virginia Indian Documents, 2005, Accession 42003, Personal Papers Collection, Box 4, The Library of Virginia.

(231.) Lon Tuck, “There’s No Wow in Pamunkey Pow: Customs Disappear,” Washington Post, Times Herald (October 24, 1965): E2.

(232.) Paul Muse, “Where’d the Indians Go? Mattaponi, Pamunkey Gradually Leaving Reservation,” Virginian-Pilot (August 29, 1965), File: 19, Historical Data, 1965–66, Virginia Department of Education, Indian School Files, 1936–1967, Accession 29632, State Government Records Collection, Box 1, The Library of Virginia.

(233.) Interview with Edna Bradby Allmond, by Helen C. Rountree, July 19, 1970, File: Helen C. Rountree, Fieldnotes, 1969–1973, Helen C. Rountree Papers, Box 2, NAA Washington.

(237.) Interview with Chief T. D. Cooke, by Helen C. Rountree, August 22, 1970, File: Helen C. Rountree, Fieldnotes, 1969–1973, Helen C. Rountree Papers, Box 2, NAA Washington.

(239.) Gatschet, Albert Samuel, collector, Yavapai and Havasupai notebook, 1883–1888, Manuscript 1144, NAA Washington.

(243.) Thomas Howard, “Attrition Affecting State’s Reservation Indians,” Richmond Times—Dispatch (March 12, 1964): 2B, File: 18, Historical Data, 1951–64, Virginia Department of Education, Indian School Files, 1936–1967, Accession 29632, State Government Records Collection, Box 1, The Library of Virginia.

(246.) Rountree uses the terms “fringe” and “core” to distinguish between off-reservation and reservation Pamunkeys. See Rountree, Pocahontas’s People, 276. According to her research, some individuals eligible for citizenship based on their genealogical descent chose not to join the tribe, either because of geographical distance or lack of interest. See Rountree, “Indian Virginians on the Move,” 21.

(248.) Fleming to Gray, April 11, 2011.

(249.) Frances Hubbard, “Pamunkey Indian Tribe Still Awaits Decision on Federal Recognition,” Tidewater Review (December 24, 2013), www.tidewaterreview.com/news/va-tr-pamunkey-indian-federal-recognition-delayed-20131223,0,3120441.story, accessed January 17, 2014.

(250.) It seems likely that the “Pamunkey Indian Reservation Census of 1908” mentioned in the 2011 Pamunkey tribal citizenship resolution is drawn from James Mooney’s 1901 census, which was published in 1907 and is reprinted as an appendix in the Bureau of Indian Affair’s proposed findings for the Pamunkey recognition petition. See 1901 Pamunkey Census by James Mooney, reprinted in Kevin K. Washburn, Assistant Secretary, Indian Affairs, “Proposed Finding for Acknowledgment of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe (Petitioner #323), Prepared in Response to the Petition Submitted to the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs for Federal Acknowledgment as an Indian Tribe,” January 16, 2014, Appendix B, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, DC.

(251.) Pamunkey Tribal Government, “Resolution to State Membership Criteria of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe,” 2011, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, DC. On the Pamunkey tribal website, the tribe also warned against individuals who might seek citizenship based on claims of descent from historical Pamunkey figures like Pocahontas. The website stated, “Although Pocahontas was a member of our tribe, the Pamunkey Tribe does not consider her descendants as tribal members nor would these individuals be eligible for membership simply because of this lineage, no matter how well-documented.” See Pamunkey Indian Tribe, “Contacting the Pamunkey Indian Tribe,” http://www.pamunkey.net/Contact.html, accessed April 25, 2014.

(252.) Pamunkey Tribal Government, “Resolution to Re-Affirm Laws and Ordinances of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe,” 2011, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, DC.

(253.) Pamunkey Indian Tribe, “Ordinances of the Pamunkey Indian Reservation, King William County, Virginia,” 2011, 3, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, DC.

(254.) Pamunkey Indian Tribe, “Laws of the Pamunkey Indians,” 2011, 1, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, DC.

(255.) Pamunkey Indian Tribe, “Ordinances of the Pamunkey Indian Reservation, King William County, Virginia,” 2011, 1, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, DC.

(256.) See “Pamunkeys Deserve Federal Recognition Despite Past Marriage Ban,” Fredericksburg.com, Powered by the Free Lance-Star (December 10, 2014), http://www.fredericksburg.com/opinion/editorials/pamunkeys-deserve-federal-recognition-despite-past-marriage-ban/article_1bda80b6-7ff9-11e4-ad50-9773c0759d04.html, accessed July 28, 2015.

(257.) This number represents only those Pamunkeys formally enrolled as tribal citizens. The genealogical database that the Pamunkeys submitted in their recognition petition indicates that “a number of relatives and offspring of current members may not be currently enrolled.” These individuals may not have sought formal enrollment, or they may have failed to pass the tribe’s “social connection” requirement. Kevin K. Washburn, Assistant Secretary, Indian Affairs, “Proposed Finding for Acknowledgment of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe (Petitioner #323), Prepared in Response to the Petition Submitted to the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs for Federal Acknowledgment as an Indian Tribe,” January 16, 2014, 10, 90, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, DC; National Museum of the American Indian, “Kevin Brown, Chief of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe” (August 22, 2013), http://blog.nmai.si.edu/main/2013/08/kevin-brown-chief-of-the-pamunkey-indian-tribe.html, accessed April 25, 2014.

(258.) Kevin K. Washburn, Assistant Secretary, Indian Affairs, “Proposed Finding for Acknowledgment of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe (Petitioner #323), Prepared in Response to the Petition Submitted to the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs for Federal Acknowledgment as an Indian Tribe,” January 16, 2014, 1, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, DC.

(259.) Joe Heim, “Va. Tribe Faces More Hurdles to Recognition,” Washington Post (April 1, 2015), http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/opposition-to-federal-recognition-of-virginia-tribe-heats-up/2015/03/31/aff6e4f2-d6fb-11e4-b3f2-607bd612aeac_story.html, accessed July 28, 2015.

(260.) Cheryl Schmit, Director of Stand Up for California, to Kevin K. Washburn, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs and R. Lee Fleming, Director of the Office of Federal Acknowledgment, March 25, 2015, http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/documents/local/pamunkey-research-cover-letter/1498/, accessed July 28, 2015.

(261.) Elizabeth H. Esty, Louise M. Slaughter, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Rosa L. DeLauro, and Yvette D. Clarke, Members of Congress, to Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior, March 17, 2015, http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/documents/local/letter-in-opposition-of-pamunkey-bid/1495/, accessed April 28, 2015.

(262.) Joe Heim, “A Renowned Virginia Indian Tribe Finally Wins Federal Recognition,” Washington Post (July 2, 2015), http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/a-renowned-virginia-indian-tribe-finally-wins-federal-recognition/2015/07/02/40cc0dd4-200a-11e5-aeb9-a411a84c9d55_story.html, accessed July 28, 2015.

(263.) Joe Heim, “Federal Recognition Put on Hold for Virginia’s Pamunkey Indian Tribe,” Washington Post (October 8, 2015), https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/federal-recognition-put-on-hold-for-virginias-pamunkey-indian-tribe/2015/10/08/479dd9e0-6dcf-11e5-b31c-d80d62b53e28_story.html, accessed January 29, 2016.

(264.) Joe Heim, “Virginia’s Pamunkey Withstand Challenge to Tribe’s Federal Recognition,” Washington Post (February 1, 2016), https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginias-pamunkey-withstand-challenge-to-tribes-federal-recognition/2016/02/01/43563890-c924-11e5-a7b2-5a2f824b02c9_story.html, accessed February 2, 2016. Other Virginia tribes, such as the Chickahominy Tribe, Chickahominy Indian Tribe Eastern Division, the Upper Mattaponi, the Rappahannock Tribe, the Monacan Tribe, and the Nansemond Tribe continue to seek recognition, although they hope to bypass the Federal Acknowledgment Process by gaining recognition through an act of Congress. They argue that the effects of the Racial Integrity Act of 1924 make it impossible for them to trace Indian ancestry in a way that sufficiently fulfills the criteria for recognition demanded by the Office of Federal Acknowledgment—although this may now change with the recent updates made to the Federal Acknowledgment Process. See “U.S. Makes It Easier for Native American Tribes to Obtain Federal Recognition,” Guardian (June 29, 2015), http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/29/indian-tribes-native-americans-federal-recognition, accessed July 28, 2015. The Mattaponi Tribe, which once shared a political organization with the Pamunkey Indian Tribe, is not currently seeking federal recognition. Mattaponis may not wish to subject themselves to the same level of external scrutiny that the Pamunkeys experienced during their recognition bid. See Jim Nolan, “Virginia’s Pamunkey Tribe Seeks Federal Recognition,” (p.242) Indian Country News (November, 2010), http://www.indiancountrynews.com/index.php/news/26-mainstream-politics/10369-virginias-pamunkey-tribe-seeks-federal-recognition, accessed April 25, 2014.